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Has Chicago lost manufacturing jobs?

Posted on May 5, 2013

The news that manufacturing jobs are flat left many people wondering if Chicago manufacturing jobs were lost.

According to the Conference Board, the job market looks better than expected despite the sequester or issues like the rising cost of providing health care benefits. Manufacturing, however, is basically flat outside of auto assembly.

The big story is gain in the service sector, in addition to the secular gains in health and education. Final demand is relatively weak, so hiring in this sector could well represent some catch up – business finally hiring workers they have long needed but were leery of hiring if the economy was going to buckle under the ‘fiscal drag’ or the sequester.

The concern should be that sustaining this pace of hiring might prove difficult through the spring and summer months, as other key data signal that another spring swoon appears to be underway. Consumer spending power is rising slowly and sentiment is still very weak.

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Their mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.