CHICAGO Employment at
primary metal producers dipped 0.5 percent in January, losing
just 200 jobs from the previous montha far cry from the
1,600 jobs that disappeared between November and December.
Metal fabrication shops reduced
payrolls as well, cutting roughly 5,000 jobs (0.4 percent) last
month compared with the loss of just 900 jobs in December,
according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data not seasonally
The manufacturing sector as a
whole saw total employment fall 90,000 (0.8 percent) compared
with the loss of 3,000 jobs in December.
Even the bustling automotive
industry lost jobs in January. Employment in plants that make
motor vehicles and parts totaled 786,500 in January, down 1,700
jobs from the previous month but not enough to reverse
Decembers gain of 3,700 jobs.
"Historical revisions showed
more jobs (created in 2012) than previously thought. The
economy added 181,000 jobs per month on average in 2012, not
153,000 as originally announced, so the labor market continues
to improve gradually," said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist
for IHS Global Insight Inc., Lexington, Mass.
Fourth-quarter employment growth
averaged 201,000 jobs per month, seasonally adjusted, up from a
previous estimate of 151,000, "a solid increase despite all the
fiscal-cliff fears, which underscores that the fourth-quarter
(gross domestic product) contraction (of 0.1 percent)
isnt giving the right picture," Gault said.
Gault expects employment growth
this year to at least match last years pace and do better