US employment has rebounded across sectors, but gaps remain

Karen Dynan (PIIE) and Wilson Powell III (Harvard Kennedy School)

February 4, 2022
US employment has rebounded across sectors, but gaps remain

US employment increased in most sectors in January as the economy added 467,000 jobs, outpacing expectations. Almost every sector has now significantly recovered jobs from its pandemic low point. But shortfalls from pre-pandemic levels remain for most.

Retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and professional services have rebounded at the strongest pace and now have more jobs than before the pandemic. Government employment (excluding education) has made the least progress, recovering less than 50 percent of the jobs lost at the pandemic low point, but it also shed relatively fewer jobs during the pandemic. The largest remaining gaps in employment from pre-pandemic levels are in food and drink services, other private services (including utilities, social assistance, and other), education (public and private), and accommodation.

This PIIE Chart is based on Karen Dynan and Wilson Powell III's blog, US employment jumped in January despite Omicron wave.

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Karen Dynan Senior Research Staff
Wilson Powell III Former Research Staff

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