Press Release Jobs Workers

Consistent Growth in Blue Collar Jobs in December, Declines Could Be Ahead


02/09/2021 12:00am

Contact: Karen Conner, 202-281-4159Mail_Outline

Washington DC — Job growth for December in the blue collar industries of construction, manufacturing, and mining and logging made it one of the few areas of steady job improvement in the last quarter of 2020. Today’s Blue Collar Jobs Tracker analysis gives a thorough look at December’s job situation, but there are hints of a decline on the horizon as indicated by the more recently released national jobs data for January.

“The January numbers that were released last week don’t paint a great picture,” explained CEPR data analyst Matt Sedlar. “Consistent job growth at the end of 2020 shows blue collar industries were finally, albeit slowly, rebounding from the beginning of the pandemic.”

Construction jobs increased by 42,000 in December, or 0.57 percent over the previous month. 
By region, the West saw a staggering increase of 36,800 construction jobs, 1.92 percent over the previous month. The majority of jobs were located in California, which experienced a net increase of 31,600, a 3.67 percent increase over the previous month. The state is now only 4,700  jobs below its February, pre-pandemic peak

Manufacturing jobs increased by 31,000 in December, or 0.25 percent over the previous month. 
Jobs added over the last three months have been consistent, with 32,000 added in October and 41,000 added in November. By region, the South yet again had the largest net increase in manufacturing jobs, with 22,800 added, or a 0.55 percent increase over the previous month. 

Mining and logging jobs increased by 3,000 in December, or 0.50 percent over the previous month. 
For mining (minus support activities), the net increase was 1,300 jobs, and for logging, the net increase was 900 jobs.

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Blue Collar Jobs Tracker is a project of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) created to take a closer look at the path of job growth in four major blue collar industries: manufacturing, mining, construction, and logging. 

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