Mining Takes a Hit in the Jobs Report

While Hillary Clinton is trying to convince Coal Country that she cares, the BLS reports that 7,000 jobs in mining were lost in April alone, totaling 191,000 mining and mining-related jobs lost since September 2014.  Earlier this week I wrote about the lack of political support for “dirty jobs” that actually pay quite well, and this is a prime example.

Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate sputtered along at 62.8 percent, down from 63 percent in March.  On the bright side, the unemployment rate for African-Americans fell slightly, from 9 percent to 8.8 percent, but the teenage unemployment rate (16 to 19 years) is a solid 16 percent, up one-tenth of a point from last month.

Something else to think about: A few days ago, the BLS reported that unit labor costs increased 4.1 percent over the January – March 2016 quarter.  Unit labor cost is the ratio of hourly compensation to labor productivity (output per hour).  In this case, hourly compensation increased 3 percent but productivity fell 1 percent.  It is akin to paying somebody more to do less, which, if it continues, does not bode well for future job growth.


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  1. Brian Williams says:

    According to Nancy Pelosi, this isn’t a bad thing. The miners can just quit their jobs and “be a musician, or whatever.”

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