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No Quick Relief for the Jobless

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Koropeckyj also offers her own list of industries and employers likely to add staff this year: professional services such as information technology, database management and hardware programming; financial services including mortgage lenders, realtors and banking staff; and later on, retail and hospitality jobs.

Where the Jobs Are Not

Millions of jobs may be lost forever. Automobile manufacturing and other manufacturing that profited from the unprecedented housing boom and credit markets experienced the deepest job losses and may never recover fully, says Peter Morici, an economist and professor of business at the University of Maryland.

“We are not creating jobs as rapidly as we are losing them in most sectors,” Morici says. He adds that “our real unemployment is around 18 to 20 percent,” when you count workers who have given up looking or took on part-time jobs because they couldn’t find full-time work.

The manufacturing industry lost 16 percent of its jobs since December 2007, shedding 2.1 million positions, according to John Eddlemon, an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The construction industry felt as much pain, losing 1.6 million jobs, nearly one-quarter of all its positions, he says. Professional and business services, which include temporary help services as well as legal, architectural and engineering services, lost 1.3 million jobs and shrank by 7 percent.

Other industries that sustained steep cuts included mining, hotels, newspaper publishing and trucking.

Koropeckyj anticipates that these industries will begin hiring moderately in the second quarter of this year, but that an improvement “won’t really be hugely apparent until next year.” Jobs that cater to businesses will improve sooner than those that cater to consumers, she says.

Carole Fleck is a senior editor at AARP Bulletin Today.

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