The Economic Time Machine

An interactive guide to Miami’s job engines and hiring drags

Restaurants, retail and hospitals drove this recovery. Housing, public schools and government continue holding it back.

To see how, sort through this interactive Economic Time Machine chart. The chart tracks job changes between 2007 and 2012 in more than 250 industry categories in the Miami-Dade employment region (which, for this data set, includes Monroe County).

We compiled this data for this week’s Business Monday cover on the slow recovery for high-wage industries. The well-paying medical field continues posting record employment numbers, but the majority of Miami-Dade’s high-wage industries remain in the doldrums.

At the bottom of the chart, the real bad news can be found: industries still down thousands of jobs from pre-recession levels. Industries tied to housing — from mortgage brokers to drywall installers — populate that list. (Newspapers hold an unenviable slot in near the bottom of the list too, thanks in part to the downturn but also the surge in online media competition.)

Then there is the category of public schools, down nearly 9,500 positions. That hiring sector clearly felt the housing crash — as property values tanked, so did the lifeblood of school funding: property taxes.

With Miami-Dade planning to close libraries and cut back on fire services to close a budget gap this year, South Florida continues to wait for a clear sign that local government dollars will again be revving up the hiring market.

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.