Jobs Recovery? In Manufacturing, It’s More Like Recession

Dave Johnson

Friday’s November jobs report said nonfarm payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 211,000 and unemployment was unchanged at 5 percent. Analysts had expected 200,000 so they are happy; overall hiring seems to be continuing at an OK pace. Wages might not be going up much, but at least people who are looking are eventually finding jobs of one low-wage sort or another.

But not in manufacturing. The country’s manufacturing sector lost 1,000 jobs in November, as manufacturing hiring continues to flatline. In fact, Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul said, “manufacturing in America is at or near a state of recession.”

Here is Paul’s full statement:

“Manufacturing again lost jobs in November. It’s the latest evidence that manufacturing in America is at or near a state of recession. While much of the service sector is growing albeit with low wages, our goods-producing economy is struggling under the yoke of global weakness and China’s massive industrial overcapacity.

Our trade deficit remains untenably high, particularly with China. In fact, the trade deficit with China is on pass to surpass last year’s all-time record, and that’s not good news for America’s factory workers.

With the Federal Reserve poised to raise the rate this month, it’s worth noting that such an action could hold back manufacturing growth. Our factories are still one of the most reliable creators of middle-class jobs, but trade and exchange rate policies are holding back their true potential.”

President Obama set a goal of creating 1 million new manufacturing jobs during his second term. AAM’s Manufacturing Jobs Report tracks the progress toward matting that goal. Their #AAMeter “Jobs Meter” summarizes the story:

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