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Despite Obama Promises, U.S. Manufacturing Taking a Hit

September 05, 2012


  • Certain industries, such as construction and manufacturing, are likely to experience particularly strong job growth under a recovery package that includes an emphasis on infrastructure, energy, and school repair.” (page 2)
  • “The estimates suggest that 30% of the jobs created will be in construction and manufacturing, even though these industries employ only 15% of all workers. Both sectors have been particularly hard hit recently….Construction, manufacturing, retail trade, and leisure and hospitality all employ large numbers of low- and middle-income workers whose incomes have stagnated in recent decades and who have suffered greatly in the current recession.” (page 8)
  • “Union representation is higher than average in some of the sectors in which the recovery package creates significant numbers of jobs. Union coverage in construction and manufacturing, which account for almost one-third of the jobs created by the package, are 14% and 11%, respectively, compared to 7.5% coverage for the private sector overall.” (pages 10-11)

(From the Obama Administration’s Romer-Bernstein Report on the projected effects of its 2009 stimulus plan, released January 10, 2009)


  • “Manufacturing shrank at its sharpest clip in more than three years last month, while separate data showed exports and hiring in the sector slumped in another shot to the country’s struggling economy. August was the third month in a row of contraction in manufacturing, and firms in the sector hired the fewest workers since late 2009, according to an Institute for Supply Management survey on Tuesday. ISM’s index of national factory activity fell to 49.6 in August, from 49.8 in July, and just shy of the 50.0 median estimate in a Reuters poll of economists. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the key sector. Manufacturing has been a drag on the slow U.S. economic recovery, which is stalling and struggling to add jobs now some three years after the brutal recession and financial crisis ended.”

(Reuters, “Manufacturing another headache for U.S. economy,” September 4, 2012)