Where Are The Jobs In This Economy?

Trying to “get rich on a salary” contemplates having a salary—and unfortunately, times are getting tougher. The May 19, 2008 issue of BusinessWeek has two articles discussing how different industry sectors in this economy are doing—and what the outlook for jobs are: “Services: A Heavyweight in a Hard Fight” and “The Slump: It’s a Guy Thing.”

Based on these articles, generally speaking, manufacturing and goods-producing sectors look bad and services look good:


Shrinking (or Looking Weak)

Growing (or Remaining Strong)


Health Care

In 2008, through April, jobs in manufacturing are down 358,000; and jobs in services are up 98,000. Interestingly, BusinessWeek points out that men are concentrated in the weaker sectors while women are concentrated in the stronger sectors. From November 2007 to April 2008 (in the U.S.), men lost about 700,000 jobs, while women gained about 300,000 jobs. Despite this, however, men continue to earn more than women (on average). This difference is exacerbated at higher salaries: 75% of people earning more than $100,000 in 2007 were men.

The job outlook may be rosier for imminent college graduates. The article, “Class of 2008 Steps Into Good Job Market (at JobWeb),” reports that employers plan to hire 16% more new college graduates than the year before:

Hiring projections are strong across the board—regardless of industry, economic sector, or geographic region. Hiring expectations are especially strong in the Midwest, where employers anticipate hiring 25 percent more new college graduates this year. Competition is expected to be particularly fierce for graduates in the engineering, computer science, and accounting fields.

Service-sector employers have the most aggressive hiring plans and expect to increase their college hires by nearly 18 percent over 2006-07. Manufacturers anticipate an increase of nearly 15 percent in college hires.

The new-college-graduate outlook in manufacturing is apparently different and better than it is for those already in manufacturing. These “increases” appear to be looking only at hiring at the new-college-graduate level—so some of these sectors (like manufacturing) could be shrinking overall even if their new-college-graduate hiring is increasing.

For a longer-term outlook, such as where jobs will be by 2012, check out: Job Outlook for Tomorrow’s Jobs (at Career Overview).


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