American domestic manufacturing employment fell sequentially by another 9,000 in October. This third straight such drop and fourth since May extended a manufacturing jobs recession that has lasted since November, 2014 and has seen employment fall by net of 14,000. As a result of its worst period of payroll decreases since the Great Recession, manufacturing’s share of total U.S. non-farm employment in October fell to its latest all-time low (8.46 percent).
October’s sequential pre-inflation manufacturing wage increase of a solid 0.38 percent slightly trailed that of the overall private sector (0.39 percent). But on a year-on-year, basis, the manufacturing advance of 3.26 percent easily topped the private sector’s 2.82 percent, and extended the stretch of three-plus percent annual wage gains achieved by industry since spring.
Here’s my analysis of the latest monthly (October) manufacturing figures contained in this morning’s employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
>American domestic manufacturing employment fell on net in October by 9,000 from September levels. This third straight sequential decline and fourth in the last six months extended a jobs recession that has seen its payrolls decrease by a net of 14,000 since November, 2014.
>This longest period of net manufacturing jobs decline since the Great Recession helped push industry’s share of total non-farm employment down to 8.46 percent – the latest in a recent string of record lows.
>Yet manufacturing’s pre-inflation wage performance remained strong, with pre-inflation hourly pay rising by 0.38 percent over September’s levels, and 3.26 percent year-on-year. Between the previous Octobers, current-dollar manufacturing wages improved by only 2.21 percent.
>Manufacturing’s monthly October wage gain barely trailed the overall private sector gain of 0.39 percent, and easily bested its year-on-year advance of 2.82 percent.
>Even better, manufacturing’s current-dollar annual job gains have average more than three percent since April.
>Manufacturing’s jobs revisions were mildly positive. September’s 13,000 sequential employment loss was upgraded to an 8,000 loss. The downwardly revised August manufacturing jobs loss stayed the same, at 16,000, and July’s upgraded 2,000 decrease was unrevised in this morning’s data.
>Manufacturing’s monthly wage advance was also revised up – from 0.09 percent to 0.19 percent. The upgraded June and July rises remained the same at 0.19 percent and 0.23 percent.
>The new year-on-year manufacturing employment changes once again revealed manufacturing employment’s shift into reverse. October’s 53,000 decrease was the biggest since August, 2010 (73,000) when the sector was still recovering from the Great Recession. From October, 2014 to October, 2015, manufacturing jobs grew by a net of 68,000.
>Since its 2010 employment bottom, manufacturing has regained 805,000 (35.11 percent) of the 2.293 million jobs it lost during the recession and its aftermath. By contrast, the private sector overall lost 8.801 million jobs from the recession’s December, 2007 onset through its February, 2010 absolute employment low. Since then, it has increased net employment by 15.219 million.
>In fact, whereas total private sector employment is now 4.72 percent higher than at the recession’s beginning, manufacturing employment is still 10.82 percent lower.
>Despite strong relative recent performance, since the recovery’ June, 2009 onset, manufacturing’s pre-inflation wage gains still trail those of the private sector as a whole by 17.07 percent to 14.21 percent.
>Examining manufacturing’s inflation-adjusted wages reveals a more complicated picture. The latest Labor Department figures are from September, and show that manufacturing’s month-on-month performance (real wages were flat) slightly beat that of the private sector (down 0.09 percent).
>Year-on-year, manufacturing’s real wage increase also topped that of the private sector – but by a modest 1.40 percent to 1.04 percent.
>Yet since the recovery began in mid-2009 – nearly seven years ago – inflation-adjusted manufacturing wages have risen only 1.21 percent. Real private sector wages have increased considerably faster – by 3.78 percent.