US chemicals sector jobs decline in August but plastics see gains

07 September 2012 17:20  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--US chemicals sector employment fell marginally in August from July, the Labor Department said on Friday, but the plastics industry saw jobs growth for the third straight month.

In its monthly jobs report, the department said that the chemicals industry shed about 300 jobs last month, dropping the total industry workforce to 797,400.

The August decline in chemicals industry hiring followed two months of modest jobs growth for the sector.

In contrast, the plastics and rubber products industry saw a net gain of 800 jobs in August, bringing the sector’s total workforce to 650,400.

Overall, the department’s employment report showed a weakening jobs picture for the nation, with only 96,000 new hires last month, a figure well below expectations.

The department also revised downward US jobs growth figures for two previous months, reporting that June’s employment growth was only 45,000, not the 64,000 originally reported.

The July figure was revised from the original report of 163,000 new jobs down to 141,000.

US monthly jobs growth so far this year has averaged 139,000, the department said, less than the monthly average of 153,000 jobs added during 2011.

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

By: Joe Kamalick
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