CHICAGO — U.S. primary metals producers added 1,200 workers to their payrolls in August, although the 0.3-percent gain did not make up for the 1,400 jobs lost in July.
The fabricated metal products industry added 3,100 people to its payrolls last month, up 0.2 percent from July, when the sector added 3,300 jobs, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report.
U.S. manufacturers hired nearly 50,000 people in August, a 0.4-percent increase in employment.
Employment in the primary metals sector rose 6.1 percent compared with August last year, and the fabricated metal sector employment grew 5.9 percent, with manufacturing overall posting a 2.6-percent growth in jobs.
Seasonally adjusted, nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged in August and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, the BLS said.
“This jobs report is a disaster,” Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, said. “Manufacturing, once a bright spot for job creation, has stalled. Unless our nation adopts an aggressive manufacturing strategy, our industrial sector and millions of workers will get left behind. The American people want Washington to focus on manufacturing jobs, but Washington still isn’t listening.”
Alan Tonelson, research fellow for the U.S. Business and Industry Council, which represents smaller, family-owned manufacturing companies, agreed. “Falling private-sector job creation and 1-percent annualized economic growth prove conclusively that the administration’s recovery strategy has failed miserably,” he said. “The nation’s only realistic hope for jump-starting strong debt-free growth and job creation is a serious drive to reduce America’s massive, rebounding trade deficits. Only by substituting domestically produced goods for imports can output and employment be generated without juicing domestic demand with even more debt.”