Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Grim projections about manufacturing from BLS

The explanatory article from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that accompanies the biennial employment projections has some grim things to say about the manufacturing economy and employment: 
Most rapidly declining employment 
The manufacturing sector is projected to lose the most jobs and have the most rapid employment decline of any sector over the projections decade. The large manufacturing sector contains 10 of the 20 industries projected to have the most rapid employment declines. Some factors contributing to the loss of jobs in the manufacturing sector are international competition and the adoption of new productivity-enhancing technologies, such as robotics. The tobacco manufacturing industry is projected to have the most rapid declines in industry employment, falling 4.6 percent annually. 
The decline in employment in the manufacturing sector is expected to decrease employment over the projections decade in a number of occupations concentrated in manufacturing. Production occupations are projected to experience the strongest employment decline of any occupational group, because of a combination of automation and offshoring. Of the 30 occupations with the fastest employment declines, 13 are in the production occupational group and include various machine and tool setters, assemblers, and operators. Although their employment is projected to decline rapidly, they are relatively small occupations and are projected to lose only about 56,200 jobs in total.
Why do I mention this? The manufacturing sector employs a large percentage of the nation's chemists. (42%, to be exact). This bears watching - and it is worth noting that BLS aren't soothsayers.

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