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October, 2001, Vol. 124, No. 10
Employment in services industries affected by recessions and expansionsWilliam G. Goodman
The services industriesí reputation of resisting recessions is well deserved in one sense, as most of the major groups within the Services Division, as well as the division as a whole, generally do not show a net decline in employment from the official start of a recession period to its completion. Employment in the division, however, is affected by recessions. Its growth in jobs slows considerably, and with statistical significance. Furthermore, most of the divisionís 16 major industry groups decelerate in job growth or lose jobs during recessions. Five major groups in Services, however, are at least slightly countercyclical, gaining jobs faster during recessions than in normal times. One extremely large and important group, healthcare, is countercyclical. Furthermore, healthcare shows countercyclicality with statistical significance. This article identifies and discusses the cyclical and countercyclical industry groups of the Services Division and some of the different causes of cyclical and countercyclical trends.
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