The AAM Jobs Report

On the first Friday of every month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issues the jobs report for the previous month. But this Friday (10/4), because of the shutdown, there won't be one.

At the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), we pay very close attention to these jobs reports. The key figure that we focus on is the number of manufacturing jobs created; we use that number to gauge how the manufacturing sector is doing, and to update the #AAMeter, our running tally of manufacturing jobs created during President Obama’s second term. The president made a pledge during his re-election campaign to create 1 million of them by 2017.

So, we'll make our own. We're asking supporters to send us their own anecdotal jobs report. We've already received responses from around the country, and the stories keep pouring in. Throughout the day on Friday (10/4) we will post those responses here, and we'll also share them via our Twitter account.

Want to participate? Share your jobs story with us. Have you recently found or lost a job? Been looking for work to no avail? Did a company recently move to or from your area? Tell us the jobs report as you see it. You can send those to info [at] aamfg [dot] org. Tweet it to @KeepItMadeinUSA, or post it on our Facebook page.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Image by Flickr user Rubenstein, used following Creative Commons guidelines.

From our email...

Jobs Report:
Have 40 hours till New Year
May go to 20 for New Years after??
One worker will get 40 hours, the rest 20 hours.
Non profit locale

-Stephen R., CA

Our jobs report isn’t good. We are a machine tool manufacturer …and I haven’t had a single machine order this year. It’s not for a lack of trying, I can tell you that. (Car companies) are pushing everything out until 2014 at the earliest for rebuilds, upgrades, and new machine tools (at least ours)…We are barely making payroll now and have cut 6 of our 11 workers with potentially more to come. I’ll be lucky to break even this year if we make it to the end of the year at all. We are the only company in our industry that doesn’t import our steel, fabrications or entire machines from China or Germany to resell them as “American Made.”…(A competitor) has been outbidding us on every government contract even though all of their steel and fabrications come from China and they are only assembled here. They don’t disclose that to the government. (Another competitor) buys 8-10 machines at a time from China and re-brands them as American Made with their name on it and they dominate the…industry. We can’t seem to get ahead even though we are 100% owned, operated, built and supported in the USA!

That is our jobs report. Basically, it sucks.

Rick, Michigan

I have three degrees with my highest being a M.Ed. I have owned my own business and have many skills that I thought I would not have a problem obtaining a position in manufacturing, sales, or administration returning home. Unfortunately, I cannot land a full-time position anywhere including manufacturing. I have sent out many resumes and the only position I can find is as a part-time assembler at (a pharmaceutical company).

I am currently in a temp to hire position doing "piece work" and most of my colleagues are temp to hire working for temp. agencies. Before my position…I worked for…(a manufacturing company) and on the second day I was called by the agency that there was lack of work so I was laid off.

With my current position, my observation seems to be bleak regarding full time work. My theory for hiring me and others as temporary workers is that organizations do not have to pay large or medium income salaries and they do not have to pay for health care benefits.

-Scott C., PA

I am a male age 58 and work as a temp employee for (a staffing agency) in Logan,Utah and I am registered with the State workforce services. I don't consider myself full time employed because working for a staffing agency does not guarantee (SIC) full time employment and my position could run out as soon as the busy season is over.

I do know of a guy that lives a few miles from me in Idaho that quit looking for work 2.5 years ago and lives on his wife's disability benefits. My regional area pays pretty low too from 8.25 to 10.00 per hour average and making house payments are real hard.

-Joel S., UT

Since I retired I remain registered with state jobs services. They e-mail me when they have an opening they feel I may be interested in. A year ago I receive one or two e-mails a month now I get several a week. Most are temporary, low paying and with few benefits.

There is a real increase in manufacturing jobs but again mostly low paid. If you are a skilled CNC operator you can earn up to about $15 an hour. Many others require experience in bio medical but these pay closer to $10 an hour.

-David N., Colorado

I have a "real" job. It took me two years to find this job, and I've had it for two years. In the meanwhile, I had to work part-time, temporary, minimum wage stuff under the table to supplement my savings and unemployment insurance. I almost went broke before I found this job.

I did not get a raise or bonus this year, although my performance review was slightly above average. I have been looking for a better job for over a year, but no one wants to hire me unless I take a 30-50% pay cut, and I would need to move to another city. I am currently making about 20% less than I did in my last job.

-Virginia G., Arizona

After being out of work for 90 days, and having sent out a fair amount of resumes, all the while releasing interest in (2) prospective positions, I was then...offered a position with a Company last week as a Reginol (sic) Sales Associate. Construction Equipment Rental Company(Drywall Industry), who has over 100 locations in US/Canada; I am in the SF Bay Area. The position is M-F, Benefits to include Medical, Dental, Vision, 401k, (2) weeks vacation, and (10) I am excited to get back to work, and make an impact with the Comapny (sic) I am joining.

-Scott D., California

My son has been looking for a job for over 4 months!! There is nothing out there!!!

-Anonymous, whose son, Brian, lives in North Carolina

Our company, Columbus Showcase Worldwide started outsourcing to China several years ago. Their products had a turn around time of 6 weeks--too long for our business--plus their quality was horrible...(The Company) started setting up shop in Mexico...They asked us (Union Members) to take a $5/hr pay cut, to help save them, from their miserable financial decisions. All five (yes-5) Unions said NO! Then they asked for a $3/hr cut-plus vacation and holiday cuts/probably insurance cuts (we already had the worst insurance plan possible) again, we said no. They said they had a buyer-that went bust-the doors were shut-after having been in the food industry for 118 years...

66 Union members lost their jobs...Our contract (which was negotiated June 2012) called for a severance package--they claimed poverty-they couldn't pay!!

-Cynthia M.

Unemployed and looking...for 4 years!!

(Following a layoff at) my factory job at Briggs & Stratton, I was left looking and there were no jobs close to home or any where I could work and earn a pay check and have money to take home. Now Briggs & Stratton is closed down. There are very few jobs in our area. I don't see things getting any better now.

-S. Kaye N., Tennessee

I was forced out of a good position in the accounting profession at age 53. I'll be 70 next week. For those 17 years I have found that age discrimination is alive and well among prospective employers, only having success at working via a temporary agency for about 21 months since being laid off. I don't when changes were made to the formula for determining the unemployment rate, but I have been in the "not eligible for unemployment compensation, wanting to work, but not able to find work" category for far too long, and therefore out of both the numerator and denominator of the rate's fraction. Now it is practically futile to try and convince someone to hire me.

-John R.

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