I think the economy has some big issues going on in manufacturing and construction, however, even given that the private sector recovery just doesn’t look that bad.

These are private sector job gains and losses over the last 10 years.

FRED Graph

The difference between this recovery and the last is of course public sector. I don’t have a good chart for that because I don’t know where I can get easy ex-census data.  Someone has it because I see a bunch of charts labeled ex-census, but I don’t know where they are getting it from.

One interesting side thing though is to look at State and Local Government employment over time.

Here is the log of State and Local employment going back as far as I have data, 1955.

FRED Graph

Noticeable downshift around 1980. Lets check it out in logs.

FRED Graph

With logs, straight lines are constant growth. So what we are seeing – a part from the 80s phase shift, is a slowdown that was continuous since around 1990.

Lets do the same, with fraction of the population.

FRED Graph

That has a similar break as the stagnation in TFP

Of course that makes sense if you think the TFP slowdown was about education. Most State and Local workers are in education.