Leisure and hospitality, natural resources, and manufacturing all lost a significant number of jobs during the Great Recession. Since then, with the exception of manufacturing, the number of jobs lost by these industries has been recovered. They had the highest rates of over-the-year job growth through the most recent quarter. Leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 5.8 percent, natural resources jobs by 5.5 percent, and manufacturing jobs by 4.7 percent.
The median hourly wages of the top four job growth industries also kept ahead of inflation (which was near zero between 2014 and 2015). Of the four, the median wage for natural resources and mining grew the most (+3.7%) and the wage for leisure and hospitality nearly matched that (+3.3%). The increase in the minimum wage, from $9.10 to $9.25 per hour in 2015, may explain in large part the rise in the median wages of these two low-wage industries. Information and financial activities, both of which have a high median hourly wage, were the two top wage growth industries, with increases of 4.5 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively. Construction was the only industry that saw its median wage drop – by $0.40 per hour, for a loss of 1.7 percent.