According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professional and business services — which includes everything from law firms to call centers — leisure and hospitality, health care and private education, were among the sectors that had the most significant uptick in job growth. Retail steadily improved, while manufacturing also did pretty well, though job growth was flatter.

In the public sector, by contrast, things went from bad to worse as budget cuts forced government at all levels to make layoffs. The financial sector stayed largely stagnant, and information started to stumble, though the big drop in August 2011 was most likely an anomaly due to striking Verizon workers. The graph atop this post shows the changes across industries, with employment in January 2011 as the baseline.


Viewed that way, the construction and manufacturing sectors clearly have a long way to go.