American domestic manufacturing employment fell sequentially by another 4,000 in November, extending its jobs recession to two years. Industry’s employment is now down on net by 12,000 since November, 2014, as its worst jobs slump since the Great Recession continued. Largely as a result, manufacturing’s share of total U.S. non-farm employment sank to another record low – just short of 8.45 percent. Moreover, in a break with the recent trend, manufacturing’s current dollar wages took their biggest sequential fall (0.61 percent) since November, 2011 (0.71 percent).
Manufacturing’s November job loss represented the seventh sequential drop this year, and the sector’s year-on-year losses (54,000) were the greatest since August, 2010 (73,000). September and October monthly employment revisions were slightly positive (11,000 total).
Here’s my analysis of the latest monthly (November) manufacturing figures contained in this morning’s employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
>American domestic manufacturing’s monthly November jobs loss of 4,000 extended industry’s employment recession to two years – it’s worst stretch for payrolls since the Great Recession.
>Thanks to the sector’s seventh monthly net jobs decline this year, manufacturing’s employment is now down by 12,000 since November, 2014.
>Despite positive revisions (11,000) for September and October, the November employment decline pushed manufacturing’s share of total U.S. employment down to another record low – just under 8.45 percent.
>Contrary to a recent pattern, however, November’s manufacturing job loss was accompanied by a sharp drop in nominal wages. Hourly pay in the sector fell by 0.61 percent from October levels – the worst such decline since November, 2011’s 0.71 percent.
>Pre-inflation wages for the private sector as a whole decreased by only 0.12 percent on month in November.
>November’s losses also drove manufacturing’s year-on-year employment loss down to 54,000 – the largest such decline since August, 2010’s 73,000.
>Between November, 2014 and November, 2015, manufacturing gained 42,000 jobs.
>Part of manufacturing’s big monthly wages drop might have stemmed from the sharp upward revision in October’s monthly advance – from 0.38 percent to 0.61 percent. That was the best such performance since August, 2015’s 0.63 percent.
>Due to the November monthly wage decline, hourly current dollar manufacturing pay advanced by 2.66 percent year-on-year. That’s better than the 2.33 percent recorded between the previous Novembers, but the lowest yearly advance in 2016 since March’s 2.55 percent.
>Since its 2010 employment bottom, manufacturing has regained 807,000 (35.19 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 15.626 million.
>In fact, whereas total private sector employment is now 5.90 percent higher than at the recession’s beginning, manufacturing employment is still 10.81 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 16.94 percent to 13.77 percent.
>Examining manufacturing’s inflation-adjusted wages reveals a more complicated picture than depicted by the pre-inflation wage numbers. The latest Labor Department figures are from October, and show that manufacturing’s month-on-month performance (real wages rose 0.28 percent) handily beat that of the private sector (up 0.09 percent).
>Year-on-year, manufacturing’s October real wage increase also easily topped that of the private sector – by 1.78 percent to 1.23 percent.
>Yet since the recovery began in mid-2009 – nearly seven years ago – inflation-adjusted manufacturing wages have risen only 1.59 percent. Real private sector wages have increased considerably faster – by 3.98 percent.