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Metal producers trim payrolls in June

Jul 05, 2013 | 03:41 PM |

Tags  Employment statistics, primary metals, fabricated metals, Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing, machinery, computers, vehicles truck transportation

CHICAGO — U.S. primary metal producers shed 2,900 jobs in June after shrinking the workforce by 500 the previous month, while fabricated metal products companies hired 10,600 workers last month following a gain of 5,900 in May, according to non-seasonally adjusted data released July 5 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Metal producers reduced their payrolls by 3.1 percent compared with June last year as companies trimmed their headcount by 12,500, while metal fabricators added 20,900 jobs in the same comparison, a gain of 1.5 percent.

The overall unemployment rate held steady at 7.6 percent.

The manufacturing sector added 89,000 jobs in June, up 0.7 percent from May. Three bright spots were the machinery sector (which saw a 0.5-percent gain of 5,800 jobs), computer and electronic products (up 0.7 percent, or 7,200 jobs) and motor vehicles and parts (a 1.2-percent gain of 9,800 jobs).

Seasonally adjusted, the United States lost 6,000 manufacturing jobs in June, representing "a setback in the effort to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs in President Obama’s second term," Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, said in a statement. "The economy is producing jobs, but they are, generally speaking, lousy ones. Goods-producing, family supporting industries like manufacturing are falling behind."

Paul Edelstein an economist at Lexington, Mass.-based consultancy IHS Global Insight, agreed that most of the 194,000 jobs created during June were in services. One example is truck transportation: the industry hired 9,300 people last month, a gain of nearly 0.7 percent.

However, "the private sector is creating more jobs than previously thought," Edelstein said. "With the June number and upward revisions to April and May, the three-month moving average in monthly payrolls is now 199,000, compared to 163,000 following the May report."

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