Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What do all these people do?

Seeking Alpha
Employment Chart: Goods Producing vs. Government Jobs

I'd planned to put this chart up for some time now, ever since it was noticed that, back in late-2007, the total number of government jobs exceeded the total number of goods producing jobs. After the events of the last two years, the gap is now about four million.

The Goods Producing category currently includes less than a million workers in mining and logging, about 6 million in construction, and 11.7 million in manufacturing.

The Government category includes 2.8 million federal employees and almost 20 million state and local workers, just over half of whom work in education.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry...

Is there any wonder why our taxes are so high?! Also, it's interesting to see that growth in government jobs is fairly constant, regardless of the business cycle. That's why having a Democrat president and House is bad; they spend money like drunken sailors and once a government program is passes, it never goes away.

In the text of the article, it implies ~10 million government jobs are in education. That sounds ridiculously high. Per the 2009 OCED "Education at a Glance" report (472 pages!), the US spends the most $/student on education (Chart B1.1) but we're only ranked 20th* in the world... or about average (Chart A4.1).

The chart is a bit misleading since service sector jobs are not included. Everyone knows that manufacturing jobs have been declining due to globalization. Heck, this is why China has been growing like crazy and probably the only reason why the CCP is still in power.


*The OCED uses science achievement for 15-year olds for their ranking. From the report:
The rapidly growing demand for highly skilled workers has led to a global competition for talent. High-level skills are critical for the creation of new knowledge, technologies and innovation and therefore an important determinant of economic growth and social development.

#1 - Finland
#2 - New Zealand
#3 - Hong Kong-China
#4 - Japan
#5 - Chinese Taipei Taiwan
#6 - Australia
#7 - Canada
#8 - United Kingdom
#9 - Netherlands
#10 - Slovenia
#12 - Germany
#16 - Korea
#20 - United States
The average is between the US and #21 - France.

For me, I started in Taiwan (#3), moved to Canada (#7), and ended up in the US (#20). Good thing I spent most of my primary/secondary education in Canada instead of in the US. China and India are not on the list (OCED countries only)... but it would be interesting to see where they rank.

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