US chemicals, plastics firms lay off 6,400 workers in August

06 September 2013 14:48  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--US chemicals makers and plastics producers let go about 3,200 workers each in August, the Labor Department said on Friday, for a combined workforce reduction of 6,400 for the month.

In its monthly employment report, the department said that the nation’s chemicals manufacturers reduced their workforce to around 793,000 in August from the 796,200 workers that were on the job in July, a decline of 0.4%.

In the plastics and rubber products sector, the number of employees fell from 658,000 in July to 654,800 in August, a decline of 0.5%.

Both the chemicals and plastics sectors had added workers in July from June.

Despite the downturn in employment for chemicals and plastics workers, the number of employees in both sectors is 1.2% higher than in August last year.

The slight downturn in employment for both sectors stands in contrast to the overall jobs report for August, with 169,000 jobs added last month.

Most of those job gains were in retail, health care, business services and hospitality sectors.

With the addition of 169,000 jobs in August, the nation’s unemployment rate edged down a tenth of a point to 7.3%.

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

By: Joe Kamalick
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