June Employment Report: Stickin’ It To ‘The Man’

By July 7, 2006Economy

Business is UpWho would have believed that the U.S. Department of Labor would be stickin’ it to “The Man”. Well, that’s exactly what they did, today, when they issued the June Employment Report . When you think of “The Man”, do you think of Blue Collar, or White? White, right? Well, that exactly who felt the pain in today’ report: “The Man.”

Now that I’ve got you attention, let me shed some light on an interesting dichotomy that has emerged in the manufacturing sector since last September and has continued through the June report that was issued today. Over the past nine months, manufacturing production employment (workers on the factory floor) has increased every month — the longest winning streak in nine years. All told manufacturing production employment is up 168,000 since last September. Meanwhile, non-production employment in manufacturing has fallen every month, and a lost 104,000 over the same time.

Since “manufacturing” employment only includes employment at manufacturing establishments (places where things actually are getting built), its tough to figure out what is causing this. Are non-production workers being moved to other locations within companies, thus lowering the number of “white” collar workers at production facilities? Are “white collar” jobs being outsourced? Or, are they being lost to efficiency games? Any or all of these possibilities could be happening. But one thing is for sure, production jobs in manufacturing are on the rise while non-production jobs continue to drop.