Today’s Department of Labor monthly employment report shows a 5.1% unemployment rate (an increase of 0.3% from last month) and a loss of 80,000 jobs across the country (a year to date reduction of 288,000).
This month’s figures also highlight a disappointing trend in the kinds of jobs that are being lost: manufacturing jobs. In 2007, only six states — Washington, Utah, Nevada, Kansas, Nebraska and Louisiana — created manufacturing jobs. The bulk of those positions being industry-specific, such as airplane production or transportation. In the more traditional manufacturing, rust belt states — Indiana, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan — manufacturing employment was either stagnant or declined.
Just before Michigan’s January Republican primary, McCain made his now infamous pronouncement:
I’ve got to give you some straight talk: Some of the jobs that have left the state of Michigan are not coming back… They are not. And I am sorry to tell you that.
Michigan, which has an unemployment rate over 2 percent above the national average, lost 5.3 percent, or 76,500 manufacturing jobs in 2007 — the largest job loss of any state. Michigan’s non-farm economy is comprised of 15 percent manufacturing.
Note to McCain: this is how you get manufacturing jobs back.