Yesterday was a good day for manufacturers as the Labor Department announced that they had added jobs to the US Market. This comes after years of decline in this sector. It’s a surprise that companies like Mack Trucks are hiring again. The same turnaround has been experienced in the Lehigh Valley. This means that the Lehigh Valley will no longer inspire Allentown songs. According to the labor department, the manufacturing industry added the highest number of jobs in half a decade. This came as a surprise as other sectors of the economy fell below expectations. At the end of the month, the US economy was able to create 156,000 jobs compared to the 180,000 jobs expected. This means that the unemployment rate rose from 4.2 percent to 4.4 percent. This meant that August continued being a slow month when it comes to job creation. Following the American recession, close to two million Americans lost their jobs. The economy has struggled since then in this sector adding only a million jobs since 2010. Despite President Trump proclaiming himself as a champion of domestic manufacturing, most jobs were created during the Obama administration. In the last few weeks, President Trump said that announcements by Toyota and Foxconn to build local factories would create more opportunities for Americans.
The recent growth in the US economy can be attributed to increased consumer spending. Mack’s President Dennis Slagle said that increased hiring is a sign that there is demand for their big trucks. He further elaborated that he had seen an increase in confidence from the buyers. Despite autos sales going down in August, the sector was able to add 14,000 jobs into the market. At the moment, Mack Macungie employs 1800 people. At the end of 2016, that number had fallen to 1,287 people. At the end of 2015, the company used to employ 1875 people. These statistics show us that the industry is responding well. Another issue that was brought up by Labor Department is stagnant wage growth. The department blamed automation despite steady hiring and low unemployment. Example of workers that have been replaced by automation includes bank tellers, toll booth operators, store clerks and workers in the retail business. These people can only take jobs elsewhere. Jobs were lost in the public sector and retail business. The public sector lost 9,000 jobs while the retail sector lost 900 jobs. The loss in the retail sector can be attributed to the rise of online retailers like Amazon in areas dominated by traditional stores.