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Copyright 1993 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

What's Happening in the Nation:

The Industry Employment Story

Total Nonfarm -39,000

August 1993

Total Private -28,000

(Please Note: Preliminary total employees on nonfarm payrolls in August 1993 was 110,068,000 up 7,000 from July 93. Total nonfarm down .035 percent, total private down .03 percent. An economic policy of slow growth set at the national level may not be an appropriate economic policy for Wyoming. )

"The August data show the third relatively flat month this year, taking some steam out of each quarter. Certainly the late survey week in July captured some summer hiring normally reported in August and caused aberrations related to factory close-downs for vacation, so the 2 months should be viewed together. This yields less than 100,000 increase each month and, combined with June’s meager increase, repeats last summer’s sudden slowdown. No industry division had a significant gain in August, and manufacturing had another large decline. The month’s employment performance was truly disappointing, but the broader picture is somewhat brighter as hours gained 0.2 to the high level of 34.7 and the factory workweek returned to 41.5 hours (4.2 average overtime hours). Earnings were up 5 cents following 2 months of small, offsetting movements.

MINING — Mining employment declined by 4,000 in August 1993. The loss was due to an expansion in the ongoing coal strike coupled with a new strike in Metal Mining. These losses were partially offset by a small increase in Oil and Gas Extraction.

Coal Mining — This industry lost 4,000 workers in August due to a further decline in Bituminous coal and lignite mining (SIC 122). The decline is due to the continuing expansion of the strike, which started after the beginning of the survey week in May. The union is pursuing a strategy of gradualism, calling out more strikers each week. As of the August survey week, we estimate that about 16,200 employees (16 percent of Coal mining employment) were out during the week of the twelfth. This is compared to last month’s strike total of 12,000. Coal is now 53,000 (35%) below its June 1990 peak and 26,000 below the level of its most recent trough (July 89), which was caused by the strike. Coal has now declined 65% from its modern peak of 276,000, recorded in Feb 79.

Oil and Gas Extraction — Oil and gas gained 2,000 jobs. The increase this month was split between Crude petroleum and natural gas (SIC 131) and Oil and gas field services (SIC 138). Field services has added employment in six of the eight months of 1993. It has been a relatively bright spot in the Mining industry, with employment gains of 15,000 over the year. These job gains were in sharp contrast to general decline elsewhere in Mining and were attributed to Hurricane Andrew repair work in the Gulf and to increased end-of-the-year drilling caused by the end of a ten-year-old tax credit (Section 29) on tight sands gas and coal bed methane. In 1993, this industry is benefiting from a rewrite of the tax laws contained in the 1992 energy bill, which gave independent field contractors their best tax treatment since the 1986 tax reforms. Integrated oil companies operations were excluded from the rewrite and this seems to have been reflected in the poor 1993 employment performance of Crude petroleum and natural gas, where they are concentrated. The current rig count is up for the fifth month in a row, to the 786 level (unadjusted), up 66 or 9.2% from July. The average August rig count movement is up 3.5%. This is the third month since a large decline in February that the year ago figure has been lower than the current figure.

CONSTRUCTION — Growth in construction employment paused in August, as hiring fell short of seasonal expectations, and employment declined by 8,000. Still, the spring/summer hiring period ended as the strongest since 1988, as hiring increased by almost 70,000 more than its 1980-92 average during the March-August 1993 period. Employment is 141,000 above its year-ago level, and has improved steadily in 1993. Gains averaged 14,500 per month January-April, while the May-August period averaged gains of almost 18,000 per month. Weakness this month was concentrated in General Building Contractors and Heavy Construction. The timing of the July and August survey weeks probably had some impact on the August numbers; there were only four weeks between July and August survey weeks, while seasonal factors expected five weeks. Also, the July survey week was relatively late, and these factors probably combined to push some hiring normally seen in August data into July’s numbers.

MANUFACTURING — Manufacturing payrolls declined for the sixth straight month in August, losing 42,000 jobs. Manufacturing industries lost 198,000 jobs, or 1.1 percent of total employment, during the first eight months of the year with levels now almost 1.8 million jobs below the last industry peak of January 1989. The durable goods sector accounted for 26,000 of the job loss with nine of the ten durable industries declining. Industrial Machinery and equipment (SIC 35) and Transportation equipment (SIC 37) lost the largest number of jobs, both trimming payrolls by 6,000. The non-durable goods sector declined by 16,000 jobs in August. A gain of 10,000 jobs in Food and kindred products (SIC 20) was overwhelmed by losses in Textiles (SIC 22), Apparel products (SIC 23), Chemicals (SIC 28) and Rubber and plastic products (SIC 30) all of which posted fairly substantial losses in August. There was little effect from the mid-west floods on employment in the manufacturing sector.

TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC UTILITIES — TPU lost 1,000 jobs in August for the 6th consecutive month. Based on the sample data collected from the flood affected areas, the floods had no significant impact on the August employment estimates in this industry.

WHOLESALE TRADE — Wholesale trade suffered its second loss in three months, with a 9,000 job decline in August. Part of the loss can likely be attributed to a larger than average gain in July, borrowing off August. Part can also be attributed to the notably inconsistent trend exhibited by Nondurable goods of late. Although Wholesale’s trend has been erratic, the losses are not as significant as they first seem if you consider the large gains that preceded them. Even if you average in the June and August losses, Wholesale still has an average gain of 7,000 per month for 1993.

RETAIL TRADE — All employment showed no change seasonally adjusted in August 1993. Prior to August, employment in Retail trade had increased in 17 out of the past 20 months. The largest increases in August occurred in Merchandise stores and Food stores up 4,000, Automobile dealers and service stations up 8,000, Furniture and appliances stores up 3,000, and Eating and drinking places up 11,000. The largest declines occurred in Apparel and accessory stores down 6,000 and Misc. retail establishments down 15,000. AWH increased by .2 seasonally adjusted.

FINANCE, INSURANCE, & REAL ESTATE — FIRE gained 2,000 jobs in August after gaining 12,000 jobs in July. This makes the fifth consecutive gain this year.

SERVICES — Services gained only 34,000 jobs in August, 67,000 fewer than in the average month of the preceding twelve-month period. Nine of the 16 two-digit SIC's in services had slightly to greatly below-average growth in August, as five of the remaining industries had exactly average growth and the two remaining industries had only slightly above-average growth, exceeding averages by 4,000 (in the case of auto services, SIC 75) and 1,000 (in the case of agricultural services, SIC 07). No substantial effects of the flooding or the supplementary summer jobs program were apparent from the sample in services. The industries with the most seriously reduced growth in August were business services (SIC 73, 21,000 short of average growth), health services (SIC 80, 18,000 short), and private education (SIC 82, 15,000 short).

GOVERNMENT — Government employment declined by 11,000 in August, the first decline since January 1993. Declines in Federal government employment and local government employment offset a gain in State government.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT — The Federal government lost 3,000 jobs. Employment has declined by 63,000 over the year. 52,000 of the jobs lost over the year have come from within the Department of Defense.

STATE GOVERNMENT — State government employment grew by 6,000 jobs in August. The unadjusted decline in the non-education sector was smaller than last year, because the summer buildup was smaller. State government education lost 5,000 jobs. The June decline and July gain in education were mainly due to timing of the survey weeks.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT — Employment in local government declined by 14,000 jobs in August, a second consecutive decline. The unadjusted decline in the non-education sector was greater than a year ago, because there was less supplemental funding available for summer jobs. Therefore, fewer new jobs were created, and fewer job appointments were extended. However, this year’s decline in non-education employment was less than two years ago, when no supplemental funding was granted. It appears that about 10,000 extra summer jobs showed up in the August data, for a total of 25,000 extra jobs for July and August. This is an estimate of jobs created over and above what was created due to the normal JTPA appropriation. Local government education added 5,000 jobs, as the last month of summer decline showed a drop less than expected. The total layoff of 1.5 million (unadjusted) is 98 percent of the previous fall’s buildup, which is in range of past layoff/buildup percentages.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1st Release.

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Last modified on June 8, 2001 by Valerie A. Davis.