An employee works on the chassis of a 2015 Chrysler 200 in the paint shop of the company's assembly plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Reality Check: Scant Job Growth in September

Oct. 3, 2014
The monthly jobs report issued this morning by the Labor Department shows that the U.S. manufacturing sector posted a disappointing net gain of 4,000 jobs during September.

Throwing a bit of a damper on today's Manufacturing Day proceedings, the monthly jobs report issued this morning by the Labor Department shows that the U.S. manufacturing sector posted a disappointing net gain of 4,000 jobs during September.

Continuing a recent trend, September's job growth in the durable goods sectors outperformed that of the nondurable goods sectors. Durables posted a net total of 7,000 jobs gained, nondurables a net 3,000 jobs lost.

And continuing another recent trend, within durables, the Motor Vehicles & Parts subsector continued to lead the way with 3,300 net jobs gained.

  Aug '14 Sept '14 Change
Manufacturing - Total 12,150.0 12,154.0 4.0
Durable Goods - Total 7,689.0 7,696.0 7.0
Wood Products 370.7 370.8 0.1
Nonmetallic Mineral Products 388.3 389.1 0.8
Primary Metals 400.4 401.5 1.1
Fabricated Metal Products 1,457.0 1,459.0 2.0
Machinery 1,130.5 1,130.9 0.4
Computer & Electronic Products 1,056.7 1,056.3 -0.4
       ►Computer & Peripheral Equipment 169.0 168.7 -0.3
       ►Communications Equipment 96.9 96.8 -0.1
       ►Semiconductors & Electronic Components 366.2 365.6 -0.6
       ►Electronic Instruments 385.8 386.5 0.7
Electrical Equipment & Appliances 374.5 373.4 -1.1
Transportation Equipment 1,560.7 1,561.9 1.2
       ►Motor Vehicles & Parts 870.6 873.9 3.3
Furniture & Related Products 370.9 372.3 1.4
Miscellaneous Durable Goods 579.3 580.8 1.5
Nondurable Goods - Total 4,461.0 4,458.0 -3.0
Food 1,471.4 1,471.8 0.4
Textile Mills 116.7 116.6 -0.1
Textile Product Mills 112.8 112.2 -0.6
Apparel 131.4 131.5 0.1
Paper & Paper Products 372.9 371.5 -1.4
Printing & Related Support Activities 439.4 439.7 0.3
Petroleum & Coal Products 114.0 113.6 -0.4
Chemicals 804.7 803.8 -0.9
Plastics & Rubber Products 662.4 661.6 -0.8
Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods 235.5 235.2 -0.3
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics      

Temporary Slowdown

Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, said the last two months' data confirm that job gains in the manufacturing sector have stalled "at least temporarily."

"Numbers like these are a blow to the president's goal of 1 million new manufacturing jobs in his second term," Paul said. "A large and persistent trade deficit and a paucity of investment in infrastructure are two obstacles that stand in the way of actual progress."

Chad Moutray, chief economist with the National Association of Manufacturers, agreed that the monthly job figures are disappointing, noting that manufacturing employment growth was "well below expectations for both August and September."

Nonetheless, Moutray said, U.S. manufacturers remain optimistic about demand and production: "Recent data on hiring plans would seem to indicate stronger job growth that what these figures show. Hopefully, we will begin to see healthier employment gains in the coming months."

Alan Tonelson, research fellow with the U.S. Business and Industry Council, said the monthly report indicates that the manufacturing sector has "cemented its status as a major job-creation laggard during the current recovery."

Tonelson said that since 2010, when manufacturing employment bottomed out, "the sector has created only 701,000 of the 9.78 million nonfarm jobs created during this period—7.15%.  And whereas total non-farm employment now exceeds its pre-recession level by 1.08 million, manufacturing has regained only 30.57% of the 2.293 million jobs it lost during the downturn."

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Modern Edge Computing Accelerates Smart Manufacturing Initiatives for Discrete Manufacturers

Oct. 22, 2023
Discover how Edge Computing platforms are a requisite for discrete manufacturers to solve production challenges, accelerate digitalization, and establish a reliable infrastructure...

Digitally Transforming Data and Processes With Product Lifecycle Management

Oct. 29, 2023
Manufacturers face increasing challenges in product development as they strive to consistently deliver improved results. Discover how industry leaders are improving time-to-market...

The Ultimate Ecommerce Excellence Checklist

Oct. 2, 2023
Scaling ecommerce operations is no easy task when your business is moving fast. Assess your current ecommerce maturity level and set optimization priorities with this practical...

How to Achieve a Sustainability Breakthrough by Increasing Data Resolution

Aug. 22, 2023
Learn how looking at data differently can help companies address sustainable operations challenges.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!