Job cuts at public schools holding back recovery


If public schools hadn’t cut so many jobs during the recession, South Florida’s hiring recovery would be much stronger today.

That’s one conclusion from the latest Economic Time Machine chart, which tracks employment changes in key sectors of South Florida’s economy. This interactive chart is a follow-up to this week’s Business Monday cover story on the relative recoveries of high-wage and low-wage industries in the region since a two-year recession began in 2007.

The chart ranks each industry’s share of jobs gained or lost between 2007 and 2012. For space purposes, we only included industries that had at least a 2 percent share in either Broward or Miami-Dade.

Public schools played a large role in the jobs downturn, with Broward and Miami-Dade employing about 16,000 fewer people than in 2007, according to federal statistics. Still, the data doesn’t tell the whole story. Construction cost the region more jobs — about 52,000 between the two counties. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks up construction into smaller industry categories at the local level, while public education occupies its own, large category.

You can spot the various construction categories at the bottom of the list, where the biggest hiring anchors sit.

To sort the data, click on a column head.

The Miami Herald’s Economic Time Machine seeks to give the long view on the latest financial numbers for South Florida. Visit for analysis of the numbers that drive the local economy. Our ETM index tracks more than 40 local indicators to measure where the economy has “landed” post-bust when compared to earlier economic conditions. The latest reading: July 2003.

Read more The Economic Time Machine stories from the Miami Herald

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