US chemicals, plastics sectors shed jobs in April

04 May 2012 18:16  [Source: ICIS news]

A US PolyOne plantWASHINGTON (ICIS)--The US chemicals and plastics industries both shed jobs in April, the Labor Department said on Friday, but both sectors are well ahead of the same period of 2011 with workforce gains of more than 1% each.

In its monthly jobs report, the department said that on a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of workers in the chemicals industry fell slightly in April to 798,200, a decline of 800 positions from the March workforce figure of 799,000.

In the plastics and rubber products sector, some 900 jobs were lost in April, dropping to a total industry count of 644,800 from the March measure of 645,700.

In both cases, the declines represent only a one-tenth of one percent downshift.

But the job losses in chemicals and plastics contributed to what was seen as an overall mediocre US jobs picture in April, with only 115,000 workers added to the nation's payrolls.

However, on a yearly basis, the chemicals and plastics industries have expanded the number of employees.

Compared with the 786,500 workers who were on the job at chemicals firms in April 2011, the sector has added 11,700 employees, a gain of 1.4%.

In plastics and rubber manufacturing, there are 10,800 more workers on the job than in April 2011, a gain of 1.7% from the year-ago figure of 634,000.

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

By: Joe Kamalick
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