June 6, 2014: Manufacturing job growth lags

Posted by mmcmullan on 06/06/2014

Good afternoon,

and welcome to the Early Shift. News bugs and economy watchers will know what day it is: Jobs day! And, like clockwork, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released its latest update on America’s employment situation. How’d we do?

Well, just like with any jobs report, it depends on how you slice the numbers up. The country is finally back to the employment level it held before the start of the Great Recession … but that doesn’t mean much as the following Twitter haiku so deftly explains:

What’s more, manufacturing employment – which we’ve tracked with the #AAMeter since President Obama promised to help create 1 million new manufacturing jobs during his second term – is still going nowhere fast. The manufacturing sector only created 10,000 jobs nationwide last month, and, with backward revisions, the #AAMeter actually lost ground this month.

Moral of the story? Don’t listen to the talking heads on TV who see today’s jobs report as something to cheer about; these numbers do not a strong economic recovery make.

What else has been happening in manufacturing news this week?

The Alliance for American Manufacturing rallied with Texas steelworkers on Monday. It was our fourth rally with workers who make the oil country tubular goods (OCTG) used in energy exploration. Their market is beset by illegally dumped product from South Korea, which comes in at prices that are far below market value. It’s not right and it’s certainly not fair, but unless the Department of Commerce fully enforces America’s on-the-books trade laws, a lot of American OCTG jobs could be left on shaky ground. Check out some local coverage of the event in Lone Star, Texas, and read more on the issue here.

Wednesday marked 25 years since the People’s Liberation Army killed (at least) a few hundred unarmed protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square for … calling for democratic reforms. Since then, our trading relationship with China has greatly expanded. What have been the results? In the Huffington Post AAM President Scott Paul writes:

Instead of economic and democratic reform in China leading to a greater market for U.S. exports, we've simply built up a massive economic competitor. State-owned enterprises dominate the Chinese economy, and our bilateral trade deficit with Beijing grows each year, ballooning to a record $318 billion in 2013. That vastly lopsided trade balance means America is effectively funding China's tools of oppression.

And today, June 6, is the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings. It’s D-Day. So if you’ve got a member of the greatest generation in your life, ask them to share their wartime experience with you.

That’s it and that’s all. Have a good weekend, everyone!

-AAM

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