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Tracking 2010 Profit Margins in 97 Industries

Which industries were hardest-hit in 2010? Which fared the best? According to financial software company Sageworks' analysis of net profit margins and sales of tens of thousands of private companies in 97 industries, ranging from construction to health care, the answers aren't surprising: Commercial contractors and building materials suppliers were among the biggest losers while law firms and medical clinics beat pre-recession levels. What is perhaps surprising, though, were a few of the biggest gainers: day-care centers and funeral homes. Will Boland, acting chief administrative officer at Sageworks, says parents needing to take an additional job to make ends meet likely led to the increase at day cares. He adds that they, like funeral homes, have yet to hire more workers post-recession. Flip through this slide show for snapshots of the 10 industries with the lowest profit margins in 2010 and the 10 industries with the highest margins.

Note: We used Sageworks private company data for profit margins and sales; we used 2007 Census data (the most recent available) for the total number of firms and people employed in each industry.
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