06 May 2011 17:43 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Jobs in the US chemicals sector rose by 2.2% in April from March, while employment in the plastics and rubber products sector fell by 1.1%, the US Department of Labor said on Friday.
Chemicals sector jobs rose in April to 778,500 from 776,300 in March on a seasonally adjusted basis. However, chemical jobs in April were 0.6% less than what they were in April 2010, when they totalled 782,900, according to the labour data.
Plastics and rubber products jobs fell in April to 629,400 from 630,500 in March. However, the jobs in those sectors rose by 1.2% from the 621,800 jobs reported in April 2010.
The nation’s overall unemployment rate edged up in April to 9.0%, from 8.8% in March, but non-farm payroll employment rose by 244,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported.
The nation’s jobless rate is down 0.8 percentage point since November 2010.
Total manufacturing employment in April rose by 29,000 in April from March. Since reaching an employment low in December 2009, manufacturing has added 250,000 jobs, including 141,000 in 2011, the Department of Labor said.
Construction employment was roughly unchanged in April. The industry has shown little net movement since early 2010, after having fallen sharply during the prior three years.
Construction is a key downstream user of plastics and chemicals.
Associated General Contractors of America chief economist Ken Simonson said, “The construction industry may have stopped bleeding jobs, but there is no sign that employment levels are set to bounce back.”
He added, “With declines in public sector investments likely to offset increases in some private sector construction activity, we are unlikely to see significant increases in construction employment for the foreseeable future.”
Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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