Total Nonagricultural Employment
|Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics/Haver Analytics|
Total nonagricultural employment is the measure of the economy’s job count most commonly used by economists. Employment is estimated from the Current Employment Survey, which is administered to private, non-farm businesses and government offices and includes questions on the number of jobs, wages, hours, and other measures of work force activity. It should be noted that this employment figure is a measure of the number jobs, not the number of people who have a job. If a person holds two jobs, both are counted. People who are self-employed are not counted and full-time jobs are not differentiated from part-time jobs.
Employment changes reflect the business cycle, with the job count generally increasing during the expansionary segment of an economic cycle, and contracting in the recessionary period. This chart displays New England’s employment compared to that of the United States, both indexed to January 2000 levels. The region’s employment path was similar to that of the United States throughout most of the 1970s and 1980s. In the late 1980s, however, employment levels dropped sooner and more steeply in New England than in the United States, as the region suffered more than the rest of the country during the recession of the early 1990s. Employment grew steadily between the 1990-1991 and the 2001 recessions. However, New England has since grown more slowly than the United States. In the aftermath of the 2008-2009 recession, growth rates for the United States and New England have been similar.
Detailed data for the United States and New England are available in our Indicators database.