U.S. Manufacturing Continued To Shed Workers, Even Before Sept. 11

By John S. McClenahen Because of the way the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does its sampling, not until its Nov. 2 report will the U.S. Labor Dept.'s employment numbers reflect the tens of thousands of job losses related to the events of Sept. 11 In the meantime, U.S. unemployment officially remains at 4.9%, compared with a jobless rate of 4.5% at midyear and 3.9% at this time a year ago. In September, the most recent month for which data are now available, U.S. factories shed another 93,000 workers, the 14th consecutive month of manufacturing job losses. The job loss in manufacturing since July 2000 now stands at 1.1 million. "Industrial machinery and electrical equipment [in September] continued to post the largest losses within manufacturing, with over-the-month declines of 20,000 and 18,000, respectively," notes BLS Commissioner Katherine G. Abraham. "Together, these two industries account for nearly two-fifths of the 900,000 manufacturing jobs lost so far this year."

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