One of the big issues being debated among the candidates running for U.S. president is employment–as it should be. The debate really hit home in Michigan, where the outlook for auto manufacturing seems pretty grim.
It’s hard to tell from employment statistics whether the latest round of bad news is seasonal, cyclical, or permanent. In December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that manufacturing employment continued to decline (-31,000), with generally small but widespread losses among the component industries. Notable declines occurred in motor vehicles and parts (-6,000), wood products (-4,000), electrical equipment and appliances (-3,000), and textile mills (-2,000).
The problem with statistics is they never tell the whole story. It’s not immediately clear whether these job losses were temporary or permanent or whether or not the jobs moved overseas. It’s not clear if human workers were replaced by robots. (I am personally of the opinion none of it matters if it’s your job that’s affected.)
What are the factors affecting your employment? Are these jobs gone forever? Let us know some of the stories behind the statistics.