The biggest decline in factory jobs in two years reported today by the U.S. Labor Department adds to signs that manufacturing is bearing the brunt of the slowdown in global growth.
Factory payrolls declined by 15,000 workers last month, according to the figures issued today in Washington. The workweek shrank and the share of industries hiring plunged to the lowest level in almost three years.
Combined with earlier data showing less demand for capital equipment and growing pessimism among purchasing managers, today’s figures show manufacturing, which helped lead the U.S. out of the worst recession in the post-World War II era, is pulling back. Companies such as Intel Corp. (INTC) are among those cutting forecasts as business investment cools and economies from Europe to Asia slow.
“There is a clear loss of momentum in manufacturing,