Friday, February 04, 2011

Manufacturing Remains "Shining Star" of Recovery

From today's BLS report: "Manufacturing added 49,000 jobs in January. Over the month, job gains occurred in durable goods, including motor vehicles and parts (+20,000), fabricated metal products (+13,000), machinery (+10,000), and computer and electronic products (+5,000)."

MP: That's the largest monthly increase in manufacturing employment since August of 1997 ( except for the +142,000 spike in August 1998 after the UAW strike ended following a -188,000 decline in July, see chart above).  

The Monster Employment Index for January offers some additional encouraging news for the U.S. labor market, showing positive annual gains in online job demand in all 28 metro markets, with especially strong growth in IT, business and healthcare occupations, along with an "unprecedented decline in public administration sector."


At 2/04/2011 9:17 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

of interest, construction and transportation were the big losers, shedding 32k and 38k jobs respectively.

i'm still trying to square the tiny jump in payrolls (+36k) with the significant drop in reported u3 based on 600k people finding jobs. i realize that these surveys diverge sometimes, but this was a much larger differential than i recall seeing in some time.

i'm wondering if it was seasonal adjustment as the non SA unemployment number was 9.8%, but i'm not sure that's a directly comparable number.

there also seem to have been (yet again) some odd changes in the population and workforce data.

population dropped 185k.

civilian labor force dropped 504k.

if labor force for jab had been the same as it was in dec, then u3 would have been flat, not down 40bp.

of other interest, canada, with about 1/9th of our population created 69k non farm jobs, 115% more than we did.

At 2/04/2011 10:11 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Funny thing is that even though the now questionable BLS says one thing, the folks at Gallup have something going in the opposite direction: Gallup Finds U.S. Unemployment Up Slightly in January to 9.8%

At 2/04/2011 12:04 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Manufacturing is essential to a vibrant U.S. economy. Consumption may be wonderful but production is vital. The mixed economy is being refreshed by manufacturing gains.

Thaanks for this information Professor.

At 2/04/2011 12:11 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


it may be more than a coincidence that the non seasonally adjusted BLS number is the same as the gallup #.

At 2/04/2011 12:27 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Thanks for the link morganovich...

You know I gotta wonder if the term, "seasonally adjusted" actually mean anything now a days as compared to when I was a kid in the sixties?

I mean how many schools today allow kids about 10 days off (including weekends) at the end of September and the beginning of October for harversting purposes?

At 2/04/2011 8:59 PM, Blogger aorod said...

Does manufacturing include oil and gas production?

At 2/05/2011 7:40 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...


You can find the answer on page 32 of the BLS link provided by Professor Perry .

At 2/05/2011 8:44 AM, Blogger McKibbinUSA said...

Regardless of the "unemployment" numbers, the BLS data continue to show that the US employment to population ratio has been trending downwards for a decade -- more at:

Many economists believe that reporting the number employed as a percentage of the civilian population provides a more accurate description of the current state of employment than conjecturing the number of "unemployed" in a population. The US employment to population ratio reached a historical peak of 64.4% on an annual basis in 2000. Follow the link above for charting and definitions.

At 2/05/2011 4:21 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Speaking of BLS data Dr William you and maybe others might find this Zer0Hedge posting interesting: The BLS: A History Of (Downward) Revisions, Or How The Department Of Truth Goosed Markets With Half A Million Fake Jobs In Two Years


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