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The number of jobs lost and gained since the recession began in January 2008. (NPR)

U.S. Jobs Lost (And Gained!), In Two Graphs

by Jess Jiang and Lam Thuy Vo
Dec 6, 2012

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Jess Jiang and Lam Thuy Vo

Note: This post was updated to reflect Friday's jobs report.

The U.S. added 146,000 jobs last month, according to this morning's big jobs report. That's not bad, but the jobs picture is still pretty bleak. Three and a half years into the recovery, there are millions fewer U.S. jobs than there were before the recession.

Still, when you look at individual sectors of the economy, there are some bright spots.

Construction and manufacturing, were hammered during the recession and haven't really recovered. Construction is still down 2 million jobs, and manufacturing is down 1.8 million. Together, they make up most of the 4 million total jobs lost since the start of the recession.

Other sectors, like leisure and hospitality or professional services, saw a dip in the number of jobs during the recession, but have now gained back a lot of those jobs.

And then there's the health care industry, which has grown steadily throughout the recession and the recovery. Since January 2008, it's gained 1.3 million jobs.

It's also worth looking at how the jobs picture in different sectors has changed in relative (rather than absolute) terms.

One in four construction jobs disappeared during the recession — and those jobs haven't come back.

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