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Industrial Analysis

By Nick Dobbins
August 2020

Monthly analysis is based on seasonally adjusted employment data.
Yearly analysis is based on unadjusted employment data.


Employment was up by 40,500 (1.5%) in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, with the private sector adding 29,500 jobs (1.3%) and the public sector adding 11,000 (2.8%). Over the year the state lost 219,268 jobs (7.3%), an improvement over July’s 8.5% over-the-year decrease. The loss was felt more severely among service providers (down 194,160 jobs or 7.7%) than goods producers (down 25,208 or 5.2%) although significant losses remain across every supersector in the state.


Mining and Logging

Employment in Mining and Logging was up by 300 (5.9%) in August, on a seasonally-adjusted basis. It was the first positive monthly growth in the supersector since January. Over the year Mining and Logging employers lost 1,198 jobs (17.2%), a slight improvement over July’s 20.6% decline.


Construction employers added 1,500 jobs over the month (1.3%) in August. On an annual basis, the supersector lost 8,504 jobs (5.9%) with declines in all three published component sectors. Specialty Trade Contractors lost 6,137 jobs (6.7%), the largest real and proportional losses in the supersector. Construction of Buildings was off by 1,911 jobs (6.2%).


Employment in Manufacturing was up by 5,200 (1.7%) in August. Most of that growth came in Non-durable Goods Manufacturing, which added 3,600 jobs (3.3%), while their counterparts in Durable Goods added 1,600 jobs (0.8%). Over the year, Manufacturing employment was down by 4.7% (15,406 jobs), a marked improvement over July’s 6.2% decline. Durable Goods employment continued to struggle relative to Non-durable Goods, as employment in that component was off by 14,117 or 6.7% (compared to the 1.1% decline among non-durable goods manufacturers).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was up by 2,700 (0.5%) in August. Retail Trade continued to lead the supersector, adding 2,900 jobs (1%), while Wholesale Trade lost 800 jobs (0.7%), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities added 600 (0.6%). Annually Trade, Transportation, and Utilities lost 13,028 jobs (2.5%), the best over-the-year performance of any supersector in the state with a loss of 7,463 jobs (5.8%) in Wholesale Trade and 7,140 jobs (6.7%) in Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities. Retail Trade was the rare major component sector to post positive over-the-year growth, adding 1,575 jobs (0.5%) from August of 2019. This marked a steep recovery for the sector, which was off by 11.5% over the year as recently as April.


Information employment was up by 100 (0.2%) in August, after being down by 2.2% in July. Over the year the long-declining supersector’s employment was off by 7,472 (15.7%) with losses in both published component sectors.

Financial Activities

Employment in Financial Activities was down by 100 (0.1% on the month, with the loss of 200 jobs (0.1%) in Finance and Insurance outpacing the small gains in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing. Over the year, employment in the supersector was down by 7,688 (3.9%), displaying virtually no change from July’s over-the-year losses, bucking the trend of incremental improvements in most supersectors. Real Estate and Rental and Leasing remained the harder hit of the two major components, down 16% (5,851 jobs) from August of 2019.

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services added 4,300 jobs (1.2%) in August, with similar levels of growth in all three component sectors. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services was up 1%, Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services was up 1.2%, and Management of Companies and Enterprises was up 1.5%. Over the year the supersector lost 15,135 jobs (3.9%). Employment Services, which is considered a leading indicator for the labor market in many situations, was down by 4.9% (2,848 jobs). This was a dramatic improvement over July’s 10.2% decline, which may indicate employers turning to temporary help as they tentatively begin to ramp up employment.

Educational and Health Services

Employment in Educational and Health Services was up by 7,100 (1.4%). Educational Services added 2,400 jobs (3.9%), and Health Care and Social Assistance added 4,700 (1.1%). The supersector has displayed growth of better than 1% in every month since April, when employment declined by 10.6%. Over the year, employment in the supersector was down by 34,359 (6.3%), with roughly proportional declines in both major component sectors. Overall the supersector remained on an upward trajectory, with over-the-year employment improving from -7.1% in July.

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment was up by 7,800 (4%) in August, the largest proportional increase of any supersector in the state. Accommodation and Food Services was home to all of the growth, adding 8,100 jobs (4.9%) while Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation was down by 300 (1%). On the year, employment in Leisure and Hospitality was off by 79,118 jobs or 26.6%, the largest real and proportional decline of any supersector in the state, but an improvement over July’s 28.7% over-the-year job loss.

Other Services

Employment in Other Services was up by 600 (0.6%) in August as the supersector continued to recover from the large-scale job losses in April. On an annual basis employment was down by 14,455 (12.4%). Most of those declines came in Personal and Laundry Services, which was down by 9,805 (33.6%) while Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, and Professional Organizations were down 4,767 (7.4%) and Repair and Maintenance actually added jobs on the year, up by 117 or 0.5%.


Government employers added 11,000 jobs (2.8%) in August. Federal employers added 3,700 jobs (11.3%), and Local Government employers added 8,500 (3.2%), while State Government employment was off by 1,200 (1.2%). Over the year, Government employment was off by 22,905 (5.7%), with most of that loss coming at the Local Government level (down 23,305 or 8.4%). State Government was down 3,515 (3.8%), while Federal Government employment was up 3,915 or 12%, likely from an increase in temporary Census workers.


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