This month’s employment report from the U.S. Department of Labor showed manufacturing industries created 18,000 new jobs in December 2005, the third consecutive month of increases, and the biggest upturn in sixteen months.
The bulk of December’s job growth came in durable goods, mainly in the aircraft and fabricated metals industries.
David Huether, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, says high energy prices, worsened by the effects of Hurricane Katrina, slowed the U.S. economy’s momentum toward expansion since 2004 and 2005.
Huether said the slowdown is consistent with the National Association of Manufacturers' 2006 economic forecast that says the economy will see a temporary, energy-price-induced slowdown in the first quarter before resuming stronger growth as Gulf Coast energy production resumes.
The National Association of Manufacturers expects significant growth in manufacturing employment through new job creation as economic growth continues.