Employment in construction, manufacturing, and mining and logging increased by 93,000 jobs in September, or 0.47% over the last month, according to the Blue Collar Jobs Tracker analysis of the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The three-month average from July to September was 68,000 jobs, or a 0.34% change month-over-month.
Blue Collar Jobs Tracker is a project of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) created to take a closer look at the path of job growth in four major blue collar industries: manufacturing, mining, construction, and logging. In this last update before the election, September employment in the blue-collar sectors of construction, manufacturing, and mining and logging is creeping along at best, according to Matt Sedlar, CEPR data analyst.
Construction jobs increased by 26,000 in September, or just 0.36% from August. By region, the South had the biggest net increase with 16,600 jobs, a 0.59% increase; the Northeast saw construction jobs increased by 13,800, or 1.33%; and the West and the Midwest saw a net increase of 800 jobs (+0.04%) and a net loss of 2,800 jobs (-0.21%), respectively.
Mining and logging jobs increased by 1,000, or +0.16% over the previous month. The three-month average from July to September was a net loss of 4,330 jobs, or a -0.7% month-to-month change.
“If you look at the mining and logging sectors since the Great Recession, logging jobs have seen little growth, while growth in mining has been a lot more irregular,” explains Sedlar. “The current recession has had a disastrous effect on these industries.”
Manufacturing jobs increased by 66,000, or 0.54% compared to August. The three-month average from July to September was a net increase of 47,670 jobs per month, or a 0.39% month-to-month change.
Sedlar maintains a dim outlook for a more vigorous recovery in the blue-collar jobs sector as the country heads into a rough winter. “Many of the states are still recovering from massive losses earlier in the year. It will take time to recover those jobs based on the current rate that jobs are being added,” he states.