May Was a Weak Month for Job Growth in Several Key Sectors
Job growth has slowed nearly across the board and the manufacturing sector even lost jobs in May, according to a new report.
Manufacturing dropped 1,000 jobs in May, after it had added 74,000 jobs between November and April. The backslide was even worse considering that May—often when spring kicks in to full swing—usually sees strong job growth numbers due to the change in weather.
The weather, however, is also partially to blame for the weak numbers, as February and January were particularly warm winter months, allowing construction and manufacturing to hire more people in these months, leading to a slowdown in May.
While job numbers grew overall, the growth slowed in many instances, not boding well for the future of these industries and their prospects going forward.
Many states also experienced a fall in jobs, with the highest concentration of job losses occurring in the eastern Great Lakes regions. New York led the way with 3,700 fewer jobs amounting to about 0.8% of total manufacturing employment. Ohio followed with 3,600 jobs culled, equaling a loss of 0.5%. Pennsylvania was third, seeing a 2,800 reduction in jobs and a similar loss of about 0.5%.
Since the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, despite his promises otherwise, these states have been hit hard in the manufacturing sector. Ohio has lost 8,500 jobs, Pennsylvania 6,800 jobs, and New York 5,700 jobs since January.
The only Rust Belt states gaining jobs over that time period were Iowa, with 2,300; Illinois, with 2,700; Wisconsin, with 3,700; and Michigan, with 4,100.
While Iowa added 2,300 jobs in manufacturing, leading the way in May, the state is still down 1,600 jobs from 2016, representing a 0.8% drop.
While it is still far too early in Trump’s administration to judge him off the tepid growth numbers in manufacturing so far, several of the president’s proposed policies could in fact harm the manufacturing sector, like imitating a trade war or potentially causing an economic downturn with healthcare reform.
In either case, the battle for manufacturing jobs continues, with May being a month that supporters of manufacturing jobs will likely want to forget.
“US Blue Collar Job Growth Weakens In May – Analysis,” Eurasia Review, June 20, 2017