What Are the Most Important Sectors in the U.S. Economy?

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

The economy has been on a slow, winding recovery over the past several years. Things hit rock bottom in 2008 and 2009, during the apex of the financial crisis, and for many it seems that things never quite recovered. Job numbers have returned to pre-recession levels (finally), however many of those jobs are not nearly as lucrative or rewarding as they were before. But people are getting back to work, business is picking up steam, and consumer confidence is climbing the ladder as well. Despite some glaring problems that will take some long-term effort to adjust, there is a sense of financial stability floating around the country that hasn’t been felt in years.

The return of industry has been a major driving force behind the economy’s resurgence, with plenty of entrepreneurs finding various means of profit in a landscape left barren by layoffs, shuttering businesses and general feelings of hopelessness among a good percentage of the population. There have been areas that have really shined — like technology for example — and others that were decimated, like manufacturing. But inch by inch, Americans are clawing back.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has released a report detailing the breadth and depth of the economic recovery through improving numbers in gross domestic product. The details contained in the report cover in-depth information across 22 sectors of the economy, along with indicators revealing exactly how those specific sectors performed over a given time period. Overall, the GDP of the United States grew by 1.9 percent 2013, which did show some deceleration from 2012, in which it grew by 2.8 percent.

The good news is that not only did the economy grow and add jobs, but that growth was relatively widespread, spanning nineteen of the twenty-two sectors the Department of Commerce measures.