US chemical, plastics sectors shed more than 2,000 jobs in Nov

02 December 2011 20:16  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--The US chemical and plastics industries shed more than 2,000 workers in November, the Department of Labor (DOL) said on Friday, job losses that were offset by gains in other areas of the economy, such as retail sales.

In its monthly jobs report, the department said that the US chemicals industry workforce totalled 781,900 employees in November, down by 1,400 workers from October’s total of 783,300 (all numbers on a seasonally adjusted basis).

In the plastics industry there were about 900 job reductions in November compared with the prior month, with the sector’s workforce complement falling to 628,800 from October’s total of some 629,700.

Overall, the US added about 120,000 net new jobs in November, the department said, and the nation’s unemployment rate fell to 8.6% last month from the 9% jobless rate recorded for October.

However, the drop in the unemployment rate to 8.6% was in large measure due to a decline in the overall size of the US workforce, which includes those with jobs and the unemployed but excludes those who have given up looking for work.

According to the department, some 316,000 unemployed people gave up looking for work in November compared with October.

With the total workforce consequently reduced to about 153.8m and with 120,000 new jobs generated during November, the unemployment rate eased to 8.6%.

Analysts also noted that a large share of the jobs added in November was attributed to 50,000 new hires in the retail sales industry, and many of those workers could be temporary staff hired for the US Christmas holiday shopping season.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy


By: Joe Kamalick
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