Blog Post

Chart of the week: US and Europe’s employment recovery: The Missing Engines

Dave Altig from the Atlanta Fed recently compared sectoral employment growth in the US during two recoveries: the 2001 dot-com recession and the 2007 financial crisis. The 45 degree line in the figure helps us understand the relationship between the two recoveries. If industries are aligned along the line, this means that the pace of […]

By: , and Date: April 11, 2012 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

Dave Altig from the Atlanta Fed recently compared sectoral employment growth in the US during two recoveries: the 2001 dot-com recession and the 2007 financial crisis. The 45 degree line in the figure helps us understand the relationship between the two recoveries. If industries are aligned along the line, this means that the pace of employment growth was similar over the two periods.

The drag of construction is rather expected and lags greatly behind the 2001/2007 upswing where it contributed greatly to employment growth. The very large drag of government jobs which are not only depressing overall employment but also GDP. Yet the most striking feature of the US recovery is the relatively good standing of manufacturing (ex motor and vehicles) which is somewhat at odds with the narrative of rapidly declining and outsourced industrial base and which a growing number of people describe as “reshoring”. Indeed, the great surprise of this still modest employment recovery is the relatively good standing of the US manufacturing sector.

We performed a similar exercise for the euro area by plotting average quarterly changes in employment between 2001 and 2007 against the same measure for the 2009-2011 period.

Source: Eurostat

Note: The size of the bubbles captures the average share of employment (2002-2007) in each sector relative to total employment.

Construction remains, rather expectedly, the striking outlier. The drop to this day has been twice as strong as the initial increase. This implies that, at this pace, by the end of 2012 employment figures in this sector will have declined below the 2001 level. Public administration is growing marginally while it is declining sharply in the US which contrasts somewhat the narrative about the absence of fiscal consolidation in the US and the severe austerity in Europe. In fact, individual states in the US are tightening policy and firing public sector workers while in Europe spending are being cut but public sector workers’ employment is largely preserved.

But what is really striking is the fact that almost no sector is above the 45 degrees line and importantly that manufacturing is quite far from its US equivalent. The secular shrinkage of manufacturing, which is evident in the 2001-2007 decline continues at the same pace today. There was therefore no manufacturing crisis in 2009 but rather a continuation of a secular decline and more worryingly the timid signs of “reshoring” that seem visible in the US are not at all visible in Europe. But a quick geographical analysis shows that dispersion for manufacturing employment growth across the euro area is vivid. If there is no reshoring in Europe, there are increasing signs of agglomeration of manufacturing employment in some parts of the continent.


Republishing and referencing

Bruegel considers itself a public good and takes no institutional standpoint. Anyone is free to republish and/or quote this post without prior consent. Please provide a full reference, clearly stating Bruegel and the relevant author as the source, and include a prominent hyperlink to the original post.

View comments
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

The 4th industrial revolution: opportunities and challenges for Europe and China

What is the current status of EU-China relations concerning innovation, and what might their future look like?

Speakers: Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Chen Dongxiao, Patrick Child, Eric Cornuel, Maria Demertzis, Ding Yuan, Luigi Gambardella, Jiang Jianqing, Frank Kirchner, Pascal Lamy, Li Mingjun, Gwenn Sonck, Gerard Van Schaik, Reinhilde Veugelers, Wang Hongjian, Guntram B. Wolff, Xu Bin, Zhang Hongjun and Zhou Snow Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: July 12, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Opinion

What bond markets tell about China’s economy

Macro data doesn’t provide a comprehensive picture to investors, but bond issuance data can fill in some gaps.

By: Alicia García-Herrero and Gary Ng Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: July 10, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Opening speech by Bruno Le Maire

Bruno Le Maire, minister of the economy and finance, delivered the opening speech at Bruegel's event “The Eurozone agreement – a mini revolution?”, 8 July 2019.

By: Bruno Le Maire Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 9, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

‘Lo spread’: The collateral damage of Italy’s confrontation with the EU

The authors assess whether the European Commission's actions towards Italy since September 2018 have had a visible impact on the spread between Italian sovereign-bond yields and those of Germany, and particularly whether the Commission’s warnings have acted as a ‘signalling device’ for bond-market participants that it might be difficult for Italy to obtain the support of the ESM or the ECB’s OMT programme if needed.

By: Grégory Claeys and Jan Mazza Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 8, 2019
Read article More by this author

Blog Post

It’s hard to live in the city: Berlin’s rent freeze and the economics of rent control

A proposal in Berlin to ban increases in rent for the next five years sparked intense debate in Germany. Similar policies to the Mietendeckel are currently being discussed in London and NYC. All three proposals reflect and raise similar concerns – the increase in per-capita incomes is not keeping pace with increases in rents, but will a cap do more harm than good? We review recent views on the matter.

By: Inês Goncalves Raposo Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 8, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Eurozone agreement: a mini revolution?

What does the new Eurozone budget do, and what does it not do? What are its strengths and weaknesses?

Speakers: Bruno Le Maire and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: July 8, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Director's Cut: Priorities for the new ECB president

In this Director's Cut of 'The Sound of Economics', Guntram Wolff talks to two of the authors of Bruegel's memo to the new ECB president, Maria Demertzis and Grégory Claeys, to specify the most important issues at the beginning of this eight-year cycle and to clarify the parameters within which the new incumbent will have to work.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 4, 2019
Read article Download PDF

Policy Brief

The threats to the European Union’s economic sovereignty

Memo to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The authors describe the current context and the increasing interlinkages between economics and power politics and the role to play in reinforcing and defending Europe’s economic sovereignty.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Global Economics & Governance Date: July 4, 2019
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

Policy Brief

Preparing for uncertainty

Memo to the president of the European Central Bank. Grégory Claeys, Maria Demertzis and Francesco Papadia present the challenges that the next ECB president will face during the upcoming mandate, reinventing monetary policy in a system riddled with uncertainties.

By: Grégory Claeys, Maria Demertzis and Francesco Papadia Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 3, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

Farewell, flat world

In the last 50 years, the most important economic development has been the diminishing income gap between the richer and poorer countries. Now, there is a growing realisation that transformations in the global economy have been re-established centrally from intangible investments, to digital networks, to finance and exchange rates.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: July 2, 2019
Read about event

Upcoming Event

Sep
4-5
08:30

Bruegel Annual Meetings 2019

Bruegel's 2019 Annual Meetings will be held on 4-5 September and feature the launch of Bruegel's Memos to the New European Commission.

Speakers: Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Laurence Boone, Claire Bury, Vítor Constâncio, Zsolt Darvas, Maria Demertzis, Ottmar Edenhofer, Baroness Kishwer Falkner of Margravine, Alicia García-Herrero, Danuta Hübner, Mikaela Gavas, José Manuel González-Páramo, Mathew Heim, Yi Huang, Korbinian Ibel, Pascal Lamy, Päivi Leino-Sandberg, Ann Mettler, Ashoka Mody, Mateusz Morawiecki, Mark Leonard, Stefano Manservisi, Erik F. Nielsen, Florence Parly, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Lapo Pistelli, Lucrezia Reichlin, Joakim Reiter, André Sapir, Olaf Scholz, Sena Siaw-Boateng, Philipp Steinberg, Alexander Stubb, Ezequiel Szafir, Laura Tyson, Nicolas Véron, Reinhilde Veugelers, Emmanuelle Wargon, Sabine Weyand, Thomas Wieser, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate, European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance, Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Palais des Academies, Rue Ducale 1, 1000 Brussels
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Director's Cut: ECB monetary policy decisions deconstructed

In this Director’s Cut, Bruegel’s Grégory Claeys and Maria Demertzis take a deeper look at whether the monetary policy decisions made by the ECB over the past three presidential eras arrived by consensus, by unanimity or by majority votes of the governing council.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 27, 2019
Load more posts