The number of jobs added in May 2016 was “shockingly low” according to NPR business editor Marilyn Geewax. Economists state that average job growth rate is below average, increasingly so over the past 3 months. Job growth is also below standard population growth for 2016. Unfortunately manufacturing, especially mining and durable goods manufacturing, continue to show job losses since September 2014. Since 2010 Manufacturing has regained over 830,000 jobs but is still lagging at 10.6 percent lower than before the recession.
On a positive note manufacturing wages are up approximately 1.5 percent and the manufacturing index ticked up slightly in May staying above 50, indicating expanding factory activity so far in 2016. Consumer spending and consumer goods purchases are up, which is due to manufacturing targeting auto producers and chemical makers. Oil prices have risen along with other commodities such as steel and aluminum potentially ending the 18 month deflationary period. Businesses are looking forward to seasonal surges this summer might be offset due to uncertainty of the November elections.