US chemicals sector loses 1,800 workers in December

10 January 2014 15:46  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--The US chemicals industry lost about 1,800 jobs in December from November, the Labor Department said on Friday, while the plastics and rubber sector saw employment growth of 1,600 workers.

In its monthly report on employment and job losses, the department said that the chemicals industry’s workforce fell to 793,300 in December from the November measure of 795,100.

But the loss of 1,800 workers last month accounts for less than one-tenth of a percent change for industry’s overall workforce.

In contrast to the chemicals sector, the plastics and rubber industry saw jobs growth in December, boosting its workforce to nearly 660,000 from the November reading of 658,300.

Here too, the percent change in the sector’s labour force was well below one-tenth of one percent.

The decline in chemicals industry jobs was part of an overall disappointing employment report for December, with only a 74,000 net gain in new hires, well below the 200,000 improvement that most economists had been expecting.

And while the official US unemployment rate dropped to 6.7% in December from the 7% reading in November, that decline was attributed to more people giving up looking for work and leaving the workforce.

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

By: Joe Kamalick
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