Original Press Release
NAM Says Fourth Consecutive Monthly Job Loss Signals Economy Remains Stalled
Press release date: May 2, 2008
WASHINGTON, D.C. May 2, 2008 -- The Labor Department report that the economy failed to create jobs for a fourth consecutive month in April marks the greatest monthly decline in more than a year and clearly signals that the economy, despite modest growth in the first quarter, remains stalled, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.
"Manufacturing employment fell by 46,000 in April, which is similar to the declines during the prior two months," said NAM chief economist David Huether. "As in the first three months of the year, the bulk of the job declines in manufacturing was concentrated in durable goods sectors where employment fell by 43,000. Nearly two thirds of the overall decline in manufacturing employment last month was concentrated in two sectors -- motor vehicles and fabricated metals.
"While high energy prices and spillover effects from the housing downturn have been hitting the motor vehicle sector very hard over the past half year, the employment decline in the fabricated metal sector last month was a new development," Huether said. "After remaining relatively stable for the better part of two years, the 11,000 employment drop in this sector marked the biggest monthly decline in more than five years. The likely cause of this slowdown is the fact that business investment in structures, which grew at a double digit rate last year, has begun to slow in recent months.
"Through the first four months of 2008, manufacturing employment declined on average by 44,000 per month," Huether said. "To put this into context, during the 2001 recession, factory employment fell by a much higher 122,000 per month. So while the manufacturing sector is currently facing severe headwinds stemming from the ongoing housing correction, the current situation is much milder than then perfect storm that hit the manufacturing sector seven years ago."
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. Visit the NAM's award-winning web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.
CONTACT: HANK COX (202) 637-3090