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Not a Merry Month for Blue Collar Jobs

Published Wednesday Jul 10, 2019

Not a Merry Month for Blue Collar Jobs

The numbers are in for May but they don’t look good. According to Blue Collar Jobs Tracker by Matt Sedlar, the results are yet another in a string of bad reports on these combined sectors. The manufacturing slump continues, but now other blue-collar sectors are showing weakness, at least in certain areas.

“Looking at individual states and regions, a clear picture is starting to emerge about who is winning and who is losing in the current economy,” writes Sedlar.

For example, New York and Massachusetts had a net loss of 5,500 and 2,300 construction jobs, respectively, while California construction jobs increased by 12,800, making it the state with the highest construction job growth in the nation. Overall, construction gained 4,000 jobs last month, which is substantially weaker than April’s 30,000 increase.

Nationwide, jobs in construction, manufacturing, and mining and logging increased by 8,000 jobs in May, a striking drop from April’s overall increase of 34,000 blue collar jobs. Job performance by state and blue-collar sector may be viewed on Blue Collar Jobs Tracker map

By region, the West and South reported the biggest increases, with net gains of about 16,000 and 9,500 blue collar jobs, respectively. The Midwest experienced a mild May, with only an increase of 1,700 jobs, and the Northeast had another bad month with a loss of 9,100 jobs. Last month, we attributed negative growth in the Northeast to what was likely a blip, but it’s worth paying attention to this region over the next couple of months.

For a detailed analysis of the major blue-collar industries of manufacturing, construction, mining and logging, see Blue Collar Jobs Tracker. Each month, this site is updated with the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics state level jobs data in these industries.

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