One way to look at the US job market is to break it up into two components: jobs generated by structurally "impaired" and "non-impaired" sectors. Credit Suisse defines structurally impaired sectors to "include real estate related industries, finance, manufacturing, and the state and local government sector." These are the sectors that at least in part rode the "bubble" economy wave. Many of these jobs were credit dependent, with growth beyond what the economy could sustain naturally.
The chart below shows the job creation and loss of the two components. The structurally impaired sector jobs created during the period of over-capacity growth simply never returned. The sectors were highly credit dependent and with all the deleveraging taking place, the jobs are not likely to come back any time soon (thus the definition: "structurally impaired")
|Structurally impaired and non-impaired jobs (CS)|
On the other hand job growth of the non-impaired sectors has almost returned to the pre-crisis levels.
|Structurally non-impaired job growth (CS)|
But the "non-impaired" sector job growth by itself is insufficient to quickly get us back to the employment levels of the "bubble" era. According to Credit Suisse, at the current rate of growth we will get there by September of 2015. And that assumes we don't have significant Europe-induced interruptions. By late 2015 however the US population will be considerably larger than it was in early 2008, thus even this peak number of jobs will still mean higher unemployment.
|Returning to the jobs number of the "bubble" peak (CS)|