Manufacturing Likely To Show Job Gain

By John McClenahen and BridgeNews Although U.S. Labor Dept. data out tomorrow, July 6, are generally expected to show total U.S. employment shrunk by 65,000 last month, manufacturing, says Merrill Lynch & Co., New York, likely added 15,000 jobs in June. If the securities firm is on the mark, the gain would end 10 consecutive months of manufacturing-job declines. However, a 15,000-job increase is a mere 3% of the 500,000 manufacturing jobs the National Assn. of Manufacturers estimates have been lost during the U.S. economic downturn. Merrill Lynch expects Friday's data also to show the service sector of the economy shed 50,000 workers during June, as layoffs of temporary help continued. In other reports, broad increases in demand in May for manufactured goods pushed U.S. factory orders up 2.5%, the sharpest increase since June 2000, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced July 3. Orders topped economists' expectations for a 1.6% jump and partially reversed a revised 3.4% decline in April. Excluding transportation, factory orders rose 2.3% in May, while factory inventories slipped 0.3%.

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