Original Press Release
NAM Says First Job Decline in 53 Months Signals Economy Stuck in Low Gear
Press release date: February 1, 2008
Huether Says Report Underscores Need for Stimulus Package
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 1, 2008 - National Association of Manufacturers chief economist David Huether said today's employment report from the U.S. Department of Labor underscores the need for quick action on the stimulus package now before Congress.
"Following 52 consecutive monthly increases, the economy failed to create jobs in January for the first time since August 2003," Huether said. "Overall non-farm employment fell by 17,000 last month, with a 55,000 decline in construction and manufacturing employment more than offsetting a tepid 34,000 employment increase the service sector, which was the slowest gain in more than two years.
"While production employment in manufacturing edged down by just 2,000 last month, over the past year jobs on the factory floor have dropped by 106,000," Huether said. "With 93 percent of these job losses in either the motor vehicles sector or in industries closely connected with housing, such as wood products, furniture, nonmetallic minerals and textile products, it is clear that the sharp decline in residential investment as well as slowing consumer demand for autos is having a significant negative impact on the manufacturing sector.
"The fact that the service sector employment gains also have been on a downward trajectory over the past year is a clear signal that the housing downturn is having negative spillover effects, not only on the manufacturing sector, but on the rest of the economy," Huether said. "As an insurance package against a general recession, Congress and the Administration should act quickly to inject a short-term stimulus package into the economy that focuses on propping up both consumer spending as well as business investment. Coupled with continued growth from exports, continued growth in both consumer spending and business investment will be needed to keep the overall economy out of recession this year."
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country.
CONTACT: Hank Cox (202) 637-3090