Today’s jobs report has a bit of sort-of good news for manufacturing employment: 21,000 new jobs! At that rate President Obama … won’t … make it to his goal of 1 million new manufacturing jobs in his second term. (Note: Passing Fast Track so the big corporations can push through more job-killing “trade” agreements will hurt, not help.)
21,000 Manufacturing Jobs
There were 21,000 new manufacturing jobs in this report. Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) said,
“It’s still far from a resurgence, but the jobs picture in manufacturing is certainly better than it was last decade. And the latest jobs report offers fresh evidence that it is possible to create manufacturing jobs in America again.
“We believe better public policies would bring about a real resurgence: That would mean balancing our trade in goods, investing in infrastructure and training, combatting currency manipulation overseas, and boosting innovation. And even though manufacturing may be one of the brighter spots in this jobs report, we’re still well below the pace needed to achieve the president’s goal of adding one million such jobs in his second term.”
AAM also points out that the “manufacturing job gains in January were: autos/parts (4,700), machinery (7,000), wood products (4,600). In contrast, jobs declined in computers & electronics (2,300).”
Click to take a look at AAM’s #AAMeter:
The Rest Of The Jobs Report
The jobs report has a bit of sort-of good news in general. Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute (RPI) writes in EPI’s Quick Take, Unemployment Drops, for Good Reasons for Once,
The unemployment rate declined by one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.6 percent, and in an unusual turn in recent months, the decline was for good reasons—a higher share of the potential workforce found work, with the share of the workforce with a job rising by two-tenths of a percentage point. The labor force participation also rose by two-tenths of a percentage point.
Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) wrote this, Weak Job Growth, but Declining Unemployment Give Mixed Picture in January,
However, the picture in the household survey was much better, with the employment-to-population (EPOP) ratio rising by 0.2 percentage points from 58.6 percent to 58.8 percent. This matches the previous high for the recovery in October of 2012. The unemployment rate edged down to 6.6 percent.
[. . .] In addition to the overall weakness, the numbers in the establishment survey were unusual because the goods-producing industries accounted for the bulk of job growth, accounting for 76,000 jobs. Construction gained 48,000 jobs following a decline of 22,000 in December. Manufacturing added 21,000 jobs. Both sectors will likely to continue to add jobs throughout 2014, but at slower pace.
Note that Baker has this about Obamacare (ACA):
The data show no evidence that the ACA is increasing part-time employment. Involuntary part-time employment is down by 726,000 over the last year while voluntary part-time is up by just 246,000.
Baker also has this terrible news about the loss of long-term unemployment assistance:
The share of long-term unemployed fell sharply to 35.8 percent, the lowest since August of 2009. However this is likely due primarily to people dropping out of the labor force as their unemployment benefits expired.
So here we are with Republicans obstructing and filibustering efforts to help the unemployed, provide jobs by maintaining our infrastructure, generally blocking everything that might get things moving — all so they can run in November blaming Democrats for the bad economy. Isaiah Poole explains, in Jobs Report: More Right-Wing Obstruction, More Pain For The Jobless.