Friday, January 11, 2013

The Job Engine is Fragile

Of the 155,000 jobs added to the economy in December 2012, an oversized 42 percent were in the education and healthcare services sector, reports the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. During the past five years, the education and healthcare services sector gained 2 million jobs, while the rest of the economy lost 5.9 million.

The fact that education and health care are powering the nation's job growth is a sign of trouble ahead. Education is poised for a fall as students and families max out on debt (see, for example, the story about declining enrollments in the New York Times). Although the health care sector is certain to grow with the aging of the baby-boom generation, implementation of the Affordable Care Act could destabilize this powerhouse. Bottom line: the nation's job engine is fragile. (For more on the dangers of fragility, see Nassim Nicholas Taleb's excellent new book, Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder.)

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Employment in Education and Healthcare Services

No comments: