It seems that the dark days of the recession are nearly behind us. Businesses in a variety of sectors are bouncing back, strengthening the job market and economy right along with them. While businesses across the board are seeing a positive shift, there are several sectors that are doing considerably better than others, and we’ve identified them here. Read on to learn about the 10 sectors that are currently at the forefront of the U.S. economic recovery effort.
Yes, really. After all of the fallout, banks are in a position to do good again. According to the FDIC, the bank industry has now recovered to the point where it can extend more loans and boost economic recovery. Martin Gruenberg, acting chairman of FDIC has reported that he is encouraged that banks are increasing their lending efforts: “The industry is now in a much better position to support the economy through expanded lending.” Many of the loans currently being made are going out to businesses of all sizes, including small businesses that are in a position to boost growth in the economy.
For the first time since the 1990s, American factories are now adding jobs and providing a boost to the economy. The White House has pointed out that this growth has established manufacturing as one of the sectors that is helping to lead economic recovery. President Obama plans to support this recovery and growth with the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership initiative, working to ensure that innovative products are created in the United States. This initiative is starting with a $45 million pilot program that encourages collaboration between the government and industry for more support of new innovation in manufacturing and growth for the economy.
The auto industry has received plenty of credit for being a big part of the U.S. economic recovery. Recent months have seen impressive auto sales figures, and that momentum is expected to continue for some time. Although concerns over gas prices might put a damper on car purchases, experts believe that an improvement in unemployment will help make up the difference and keep auto sales strong. Some of the success found in the auto industry today is due to recovery in Japan, where a year after the March 11, 2011 earthquakes, top auto makers have once again reached pre-earthquake levels.
It sounds strange, but firms based in India actually have quite a bit to do with a boost in the U.S. economy and job growth. Outsourced jobs that were once thought to be a drain on the U.S. are turning out to be a good thing for the economy. According to eWeek, India-based tech firms support more than 280,000 jobs in the United states, concentrated primarily in California, Michigan, Texas, and Illinois. Additionally, the IT tech industry in India has paid more than $15 billion in taxes to the U.S. Treasury during the last five years.
Following a boost in holiday retail sales, the service industry has experienced a fast pace of growth in late 2011 and early 2012. A Bloomberg report indicates that there’s been a distinct rise in The Institute for Supply Management’s index of non-manufacturing industries, signaling a very positive move for the service industry and economy as a whole.
As one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. economy, the video game industry is growing at more than seven times the rate of growth for the entire economy. With this kind of growth, it’s clear that video games are adding up to a major economic impact in the U.S. In 2009 alone, the entertainment software industry added close to $5 billion to the U.S. GDP. Further, video game companies are responsible for employing more than 120,000 people, with a total national compensation of $2.9 billion. As the games industry continues to grow, we can expect to see games become responsible for even more of a contribution to the national economy.
The clean energy industry is typically lauded for its environmental benefits, but there are distinct economic benefits as well. This industry is responsible for creating a number of green jobs that are supporting not just the green economy, but the U.S. economy as a whole. Experts point out that investment in green jobs lowers unemployment while also improving the U.S. energy system. And according to AmericanProgress.org, a $150 billion investment in clean energy would result in an estimated 1.7 million new jobs.
Shale drilling is increasingly being identified as a good resource for both natural gas and new jobs. In addition to the jobs created directly for shale drilling, the natural gas industry benefits other industries and businesses. Marcellus Shale alone spends more than $50 million each year on legal, scientific, technical, and other services. There are also benefits for hotels, motels, retail, and restaurants as a result of the industry.
Although shale drilling is part of the larger oil and gas industry, it’s important to point out that even without shale drilling, oil and gas is boosting the U.S. economy. In 2010, the oil and gas industry generated $476 billion for the U.S. economy. EnergyTomorrow.org points out that this figure is equal to about 60% of the 2009 federal stimulus, but this particular impact is one that can be repeated many times over. There are currently 9.2 million people directly and indirectly employed by the oil and gas industry, but that figure could climb by 1.4 million with the right policies in place, providing an incredible boost to the U.S. economy.
There’s not much new or particularly exciting about livestock, except that it’s currently providing some great support for the U.S. economy. The poultry and livestock industry recently added $19 billion in tax revenues for the U.S. economy, while at the same time supporting 1.8 million domestic jobs. Iowa and California in particular are experiencing the benefits of this growth, with Iowa adding more than 19,000 jobs and $176.2 million in tax revenue since 2000, with California following shortly behind at 17,000 jobs and $185.5 million in tax revenue. It’s clear that the livestock industry is doing a great job of growing and boosting the U.S. economy not just in these states, but nationwide.