From the Department of Labor’s monthly employment report:
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 166,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality. Manufacturing employment continued to decline, and construction employment was little changed.
Manufacturing’s drop was from 13,984,000 to 13,963,000 (preliminary figures), continuing the slow trend that reflects increased productivity and difficulties in specific sectors, e.g. motor vehicles and parts (-6,000), computer and electronic products (-4,000), and chemicals (-4,000). Still, 50 straight months of jobs creation overall.
One thing is definitely working to keep the economy humming, despite the sectoral rough spots — exporting. CNBC’s Joe Kernan asked NAM President about the economy and trade in an interview this morning in Japan. Here are two key points Engler made:
We’re going to have Asian companies with substantial business in the U.S., and they’re going to be looking to do what they can to grow their business in the U.S. to serve the U.S. marketplace. So it’s increasingly integrated, what we’ve got to be is smart enough to be compared to compete to have our workforce trained, to stay away from some of the taxes that people are talking about in Washington.
Everywhere I go, including in Japan, they’re talking about bringing corporate tax rates down to be more competitive. The only place in the world where they’re talking about raising taxes on business and jobs providers is the U.S.
And, on trade:
Nearly half of the nearly 4 percent GDP growth in the last quarter came from increased exports. Exports are growing now at an annualized rate of nearly 16 percent…In fact, the export growth really offset the housing decline in the U.S. economy. It’s one of the reasons the market is staying up, it’s one of the reasons that we’re making some of the economic progress that we’re making, and that the unemployment rate – and I know the data is out later today – I think is not going to be bad.
So it seems like the wise course of action is to continue doing things that work — more exports through free trade agreements and a successful Doha round — and stop doing the things the don’t, that hurt our competitiveness. Like maintaining the second highest corporate tax rates in the world.
More: Labor Secretary Chao’s statement.
Larry Kudlow enthuses, “The Girl’s Got Game.” (The economy, that is, not the Labor Secretary.)
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