US chemicals sector saw modest employment gains in Jan

03 February 2012 16:16  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--US chemicals manufacturers saw modest job gains in January from December, the Labor Department said on Friday, but the plastics sector experienced a slight decline.

In its monthly employment report, the department said the nation’s chemicals industry added some 2,200 workers in January compared with the prior month to reach a total workforce of 796,200 – a monthly gain of 0.2%.

In the plastics and rubber products sector, however, some 1,000 jobs were lost in January, bringing the sector’s total workforce down to around 638,600, a decline of 0.15%.

But in year-on-year comparisons, both industries showed improvement from January 2011.

The department said the chemicals sector took on approximately 15,300 additional workers over the 12 months ending in January this year, a gain of 1.9%.

Jobs growth in the plastics and rubber industry was more modest but still positive over the same period, adding about 4,000 workers for an increase of 0.6%.

For the overall US economy, the department reported a solid gain in the nation’s workforce, with some 243,000 new jobs generated in January from December, an advance that lowered the unemployment rate to 8.3% from December’s 8.5% reading.

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

By: Joe Kamalick
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