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WASHINGTON – Blue collar jobs in Rust Belt states generally show modest increases, reflecting the national trend, according to a new analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). But, as illustrated, even a modest uptick in coal mining jobs in Pennsylvania — up 4.0 percent, or 200 jobs, over last year — is still down by 41.6 percent from the peak in March of 2012. Coal mining jobs in Kentucky fell by 100 jobs, or 1.7 percent, over last year. That’s down 65.7 percent from the peak in August of 2011.

Wisconsin saw the largest increase in manufacturing. Indiana had the largest increase in construction. Construction employment is likely to continue growing at a healthy pace, but Federal Reserve rate hikes could dampen this growth. If the Fed gets too aggressive with its hikes, then employment growth in this sector could fall off sharply and possibly stop entirely.
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The Blue Collar Jobs Tracker charts monthly manufacturing, construction, mining, and logging jobs in eight Rust Belt states* to monitor job growth in these industries. (*Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin)