The Department of Labor released its monthly employment report today, and it hit us smack in the face with the loss of 46,000 manufacturing jobs. This continues a trend over the last 12 months: Overall manufacturing employment has fallen by 215,000, the largest 12-month drop in three years. The Washington Post covers the story here.
Manufacturers in the United States are skilled, incredibly productive, adaptable — so what can be causing such drop in manufacturing employment? The housing slowdown is an immediate cause of some — stress, just some — of the loss, but there’s something more structural at work.
NAM President John Engler really pegs it in a statement and his video commentary, explaining that policymakers are failing to address the continually increasing costs that make it harder for manufacturers to compete: Ever rising energy costs, the highest corporate tax burden among the developed countries, an outrageously expensive and inequitable system of civil justice…on and on. The NAM has documented these structural costs many times, most recently in “The Escalating Cost Crisis,” a report that shows manufacturers in the United States faces a 31.6 percent cost disadvantage compared to our major global competitors.
From today’s NAM news release, Engler’s statement:
“The fact that manufacturing lost 46,000 jobs in August is not a partisan problem, not a Democrat or Republican problem, but a problem for the 46,000 families that have lost work and hope in the future. We need to all come together to fix this. Congress must step up to the plate, recognize the impact of decisions it has made in the past that make America less competitive, and do something about it.
We have dedicated a page to NAM President Engler’s video statement, the news release, and several radio actualities that cover the issue, the discouraging news and the essential policy response. Please go to www.NAM.org/Augustreport
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