Over the last decade, the economy (and implicitly the jobs of US citizens) have suffered significant swings. The chart below, however, clarifies exactly where the 'missing' jobs have gone (and with a slight silver-lining) where we have gained jobs. As is clear, the Oil & Gas industry has seen its total number of employees rise over 40% in the last ten years - while Manufacturing and Construction industries have each lost around 20% of the total employees.
Of course, net net, given the precipitous drop in labor force participation, the US is losing the 'employed' dramatically over this period as the incentive (as we noted here) to work and demand for work (in a cost-cutting ZIRP environment) remain negligible.
While the boom in Oil & Gas jobs that is so clear in the chart above, it would appear that whether through regulation, market pricing, or 'over-fishing' the growth in rig-counts (as proxied by Baker Hughes below and noted by Reuters late last year) is now falling year-over-year (though well counts are rising) - it seems we need another 'price' boom in Oil and NatGas to get things going again - but of course that will hurt the consumer and implicitly the mainstay of the US economy.
and in case it was not clear where all those jobs went (if not swallowed up by productivity enhancing robots) - the following chart should make things clear (over 200 years of manufacturing shifts around the world)...
Charts: Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg