Wednesday, April 22, 2020

ACC: US chemical manufacturing could see job losses of 28,000 this year

"The US economy, now under a wide-ranging shutdown due to the novel coronavirus, is likely to shrink 4% this year. And US chemical manufacturing will decline by a similar amount, according to a forecast from the American Chemistry Council, the industry’s main trade group. In response, the ACC says, chemical firms will cut jobs and hold off on business investment. 
The ACC estimates that US chemical output will fall by around 3.3% in 2020 if shutdowns are lifted before the end of June, but output could drop by 6.5% if shutdowns last through the fourth quarter. The figures do not include pharmaceuticals. In December, the association had projected output to rise slightly this year. 
The decline is due to not only public health-motivated shutdowns in the US, but also to unprecedented moves by other governments to restrict the activities of business and consumers.... 
...While employment in the chemical industry will not suffer to the same degree as in retail, restaurant, and other service industries, ACC expects chemical job losses could total 28,000, or 5.1% of the workforce, in 2020. The cuts would reverse the industry’s 3-year run of job expansion. 
And while it is not yet clear how the job cuts would be distributed among production, R&D, managerial, and administrative roles, overall business investment is expected to decline this year, the group says.
Worth noting that chemist positions would be a small fraction of those 28,000 positions, but even one thousand chemists would be a major blow... 

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