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Weak Jobs Report Shows Manufacturing on the Slide

manufacturing, jobs, us, america

Jobs were added last month, but at a considerably slower pace suggesting the market is cooling and the economy may be in for a slowdown.
The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows employers added 126,000 jobs in March. It was the first month in the last 12 that the number of new jobs came in below 200,000.

Manufacturing was hit hard, reporting the loss of about 1,000 jobs for March. The strong dollar and increased imports have been a big drag on the sector according to Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, “That was one wretched jobs report for manufacturing. Losses in March combined with steep downward revisions in January and February have washed away the narrative of a resurgent manufacturing base. The effects of the strong dollar are clear: it’s a big loser for factory jobs in the United States. And surging steel imports are already contributing to mass layoffs."

Low oil and gas prices are giving manufacturers headaches as producers hold back on buying drilling and other equipment, something TD Senior Economist James Marple says we're going to really start seeing the effects of, "While the sector is tiny compared to the size of the American economy, the magnitude of the decline in investment will have a noticeable impact on economic growth in the first half of this year. This will be more than offset by the saving to consumers from lower energy prices, but while the benefits will take time to accrue leading, the losses are concentrated."


Read more on new product development at IndustryWeek.

IndustryWeek is an NED companion site within Penton's Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group.

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