I’ve said before that a recession is a decline in construction and manufacturing. Or slightly more broadly construction and industrial production, which adds in mines and utilities. The last two are not a big parts of the US economy but it is in other countries.

Via Catherine Rampbell here is a chart on OECD jobs losses that shows 2008-2009 to just be your garden variety severe global economic recession.


The red sections represent jobs in industrial production and the green jobs in construction.

You can see that across the board job losses were dominated by red, green or a combination of the two.  However, in France and the Netherlands those two sectors were clearly overwhelmed by what in the US we call FIRE and Professional Services.

Great Britain saw some pretty heavy losses but at least their you can tell a story about the dominance of the City of London. Is there a similar story to tell in France and the Netherlands?

Now of course this latest crisis had an unusually heavy financial component. Still you never see losses pilling up in those categories like they did in those two countries. It is fascinating and I am not exactly sure what’s going on there, but it is an interesting mystery.