July Manufacturing Employment Fell By 20,000

The manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy, after adding 15,000 jobs in June, likely lost 20,000 jobs in July, says Merrill Lynch & Co., New York, in advance of Aug. 4's U.S. Labor Department report on employment.

The major reason for the decline, believes Merrill, was the large number of General Motors Corp. workers taking employment buyouts.

Looking beyond manufacturing to non-farm civilian employment generally, Merrill figures the economy created 125,000 jobs in July, well below the 145,000 that economists generally expect the department to report.

Merrill isn't the only organization perceiving lower overall U.S. job growth.

At the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group, labor economist Ken Goldstein says that in the slowing U.S. economy June's 121,000 job-creation figure may not have been the fluke some analysts thought it to be. "In the weeks since that report, consumer expectations of job growth edged lower, job advertising in print remained steady, online ad volume slowed, and the [Conference Board's] leading indicators continued to suggest a cooling overall economic environment," notes Goldstein.

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