February 9, 2007 – Despite the Bush administration’s claims of a robust economy, manufacturing jobs are continuing their rapid decline. According to data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), manufacturing employment declined by 16,000 in January and by 110,000 over the last 12 months. January marks the seventh month in a row with job declines in manufacturing.
That wasn’t the only bad news for manufacturing employees. The BLS also reported the factory workweek fell by .2 hour to 40.8 hours, and overtime declined by .1 hour to 4.1 hours. Since peaking in July, the manufacturing workweek has dropped by .7 hour.
Also buried inside the BLS numbers was disturbing news regarding wage growth. Hourly earnings for non-supervisory production workers, the majority of jobs in the U.S., rose by only .2 percent in January, the smallest wage gain since last September. Weekly earnings also fell by .1 percent in January, the first such decline since May 2006.