Economic Recovery Leaves One Critical Industry Behind
The U.S. economy gained 2.65 million jobs over the course of 2015 with all industries growing except mining and logging, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Monday.
BLS reports track a number of economic trends including employment. Mining and logging, two sectors BLS counts as one industry, is the only industry in the past year to lose jobs at a total of 131,000 people now out of work. The loss was primarily seen on the mining side.
“This loss was equal to about 14.3 percent of all jobs in the industry,” the report notes. “Mining drove almost all of the employment trend in this sector, accounting for 129,000 of the decline.”
There are a few possible contributing factors to why mining and logging employment is declining. President Barack Obama has implemented a long list of new energy regulations making it tougher on coal mining. A drop in the cost of coal may have also resulted in less employment.
Education and health services saw the biggest gain in jobs at 655,000, followed by professional and business services. The industry with the least job growth while still being positive was utilities at 11,200 new jobs. Recent monthly jobs reports have shown the economy continues to recover but the positive growth has been relatively slow.
The report excludes farm workers, private household employees and nonprofits. While the recovery has been positive, it does also show some troubling trends. Unemployment has remained at roughly 5 percent since September. Wage growth has stalled after several months of positive gains.
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