U.S. Manufacturing Sheds 15,000 Jobs In July

Aug. 4, 2006
In a reversal from June, when it created 22,000 jobs, U.S. manufacturing lost 15,000 jobs in July, the U.S. Labor Department reported on August 4. Although substantial, July's manufacturing job loss was not as great as the 20,000 that economists at ...

In a reversal from June, when it created 22,000 jobs, U.S. manufacturing lost 15,000 jobs in July, the U.S. Labor Department reported on August 4. Although substantial, July's manufacturing job loss was not as great as the 20,000 that economists at Merrill Lynch & Co., New York, had forecast.

In July, the transportation equipment sector of manufacturing lost 9,000 jobs, reflecting in part the worker buyouts at General Motors Corp. Computer and electronics makers shed 8,000 jobs, and textile mills laid off 2,000 workers last month. The 8,000 jobs added in machinery in July and the 4,000 created in chemicals weren't enough to offset the losses elsewhere in manufacturing.

Overall, the non-farm U.S. economy, of which manufacturing is an element, added 113,000 jobs in July, well below the 145,000 that economists generally had anticipated. July's job-creation rate was also below the 150,000 monthly average needed to keep up with population growth. The national unemployment rate rose to 4.8% in July from 4.6% in June.

Manufacturers and other business firms appear to be cautious -- or at least selective -- in their hiring as the economy slows from the heady pace of this year's first quarter. In the first quarter, the economy grew at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 5.6 %; in the second quarter, growth slowed to an annual rate of 2.5%, according to the U.S. Commerce Department's initial estimate.

July's employment numbers will figure in August 8's Federal Open Market Committee decision on whether or not to again increase the influential federal funds target rate, now at 5.25%. The committee has raised the rate a quarter-point 17 times since June 2004. On Tuesday, the committee must decide whether inflation or slower-growth with higher unemployment is the greater threat to the economy.

About the Author

John McClenahen | Former Senior Editor, IndustryWeek

 John S. McClenahen, is an occasional essayist on the Web site of IndustryWeek, the executive management publication from which he retired in 2006. He began his journalism career as a broadcast journalist at Westinghouse Broadcasting’s KYW in Cleveland, Ohio. In May 1967, he joined Penton Media Inc. in Cleveland and in September 1967 was transferred to Washington, DC, the base from which for nearly 40 years he wrote primarily about national and international economics and politics, and corporate social responsibility.
      McClenahen, a native of Ohio now residing in Maryland, is an award-winning writer and photographer. He is the author of three books of poetry, most recently An Unexpected Poet (2013), and several books of photographs, including Black, White, and Shades of Grey (2014). He also is the author of a children’s book, Henry at His Beach (2014).
      His photograph “Provincetown: Fog Rising 2004” was selected for the Smithsonian Institution’s 2011 juried exhibition Artists at Work and displayed in the S. Dillon Ripley Center at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., from June until October 2011. Five of his photographs are in the collection of St. Lawrence University and displayed on campus in Canton, New York.
      John McClenahen’s essay “Incorporating America: Whitman in Context” was designated one of the five best works published in The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies during the twelve-year editorship of R. Barry Leavis of Rollins College. John McClenahen’s several journalism prizes include the coveted Jesse H. Neal Award. He also is the author of the commemorative poem “Upon 50 Years,” celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Wolfson College Cambridge, and appearing in “The Wolfson Review.”
      John McClenahen received a B.A. (English with a minor in government) from St. Lawrence University, an M.A., (English) from Western Reserve University, and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University, where he also pursued doctoral studies. At St. Lawrence University, he was elected to academic honor societies in English and government and to Omicron Delta Kappa, the University’s highest undergraduate honor. John McClenahen was a participant in the 32nd Annual Wharton Seminars for Journalists at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. During the Easter Term of the 1986 academic year, John McClenahen was the first American to hold a prestigious Press Fellowship at Wolfson College, Cambridge, in the United Kingdom.
      John McClenahen has served on the Editorial Board of Confluence: The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies and was co-founder and first editor of Liberal Studies at Georgetown. He has been a volunteer researcher on the William Steinway Diary Project at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and has been an assistant professorial lecturer at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.


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