US chemicals, plastics sectors see jobs growth in March

06 April 2012 19:07  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--US chemicals and plastics industries took on additional workers in March, and both sectors have expanded their workforces by 1.5% or more since March 2011, according to Department of Labor data issued on Friday.

In its monthly report on US employment, the department said that the chemicals industry added about 2,900 workers in March from February to reach a total workforce of 799,300.

In the plastics and rubber sector, some 3,400 additional workers were signed up last month, reaching a total of 645,700 on the job across the country.

The month-to-month gains in employment are relatively small in terms of the two industries’ overall workforce numbers. 

The February to March gain for plastics was 0.5% or one-half of one percent. In chemicals, the increase even more narrow at 0.3%.

However, over the last 12 months, both sectors have helped improve the overall jobs picture for the US.

Compared with March 2011, the chemicals sector has increased its workforce by 1.9%, and the plastics industry has expanded its labour force by 1.5%.

The year-long gains in employment among US chemicals and plastics production are part of the overall improvement in manufacturing.

According to the department, manufacturing has been the leading force in jobs growth since the end of the US recession in June 2009.

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

By: Joe Kamalick
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