Banking & Finance

The Ten American Industries Which Will Never Recover

It has become clear that jobs in some industries may never come back or if they do it will take years or decades for a recovery. 24/7 Wall St. examined the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Employment Situation Summary” and a number of sources that show layoffs by company and sector. The weakness in these sectors will make it harder for the private industry, even aided by the government, to bring down total unemployment  from 9.6% and replace the 8.3 million jobs lost during the recession. The losses in these industries have to be offset by growth in others before there can be any net increase in American employment.

Some of the industries are obvious. Detroit will never employ the number of people it did five years ago. Domestic car sales hit 16 million in 2005 and 2006. That number will be closer to 11.5 million in 2010. More cars and light vehicles are made overseas now, in places like Mexico, to keep labor costs down.

Home construction is another industry that will almost certainly not recover. Home inventories are still extremely high and home prices have fallen to the levels where they were in 2004. Prices in some markets, which include Las Vegas, Florida and parts of California have dropped 60% to 70%. New construction in those markets will not begin again in the foreseeable future.

Here is the list of the ten jobs categories that will not recover based on 24/7 Wall St. research:

1. State and local government jobs. The level of unemployment in this sector continues to rise. Budget imbalances in a number of states have already caused mass layoffs as tax receipts have dropped sharply. A recent report by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers found that 22 states furloughed employees and 25 laid off workers during fiscal year 2009-10. As an example, California slashed its workforce has been reduced by tens of thousands – some were laid off permanently and some are out of work and may be recalled. Former eBay (NYSE: EBAY) CEO Meg Whitman, who is running for governor of California, said she will cut the state workforce by another 40,000 and sharply cut pensions for new workers. Forty-six states face budget shortfalls that will total $112 billion for the fiscal year ending next June, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Municipalities face similar difficulties as property taxes plummet.

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