- In the past year the economy has added 656000 Blue-Collar Jobs compared with 1.7 million added in the Services Sector.
- Blue-Collar Jobs long a small and shrinking part of the U.S. economy are now growing at a faster clip than those in the nations much larger service economy.
- And the rate of growth in Blue-Collar Jobs is speeding up.
As to what this means for the fall election it is no doubt good news for the reeling Republican Party said the Brookings report.And after rejecting Hillary Clinton while fleeing Barack Obama and the Democrat Party to elect record numbers of Republican State Legislators during the Obama presidency increasing numbers of Rust-Belt voters are becoming strong supporters of President Trump. Optimism is at an all-time high with more than 95 of manufacturers reporting a positive outlook" for their business an all-time record in the surveys 20-year history and Manufacturing Output is near record levels according to the latest survey by the National Association of Manufacturers.
Small towns and rural America are finally winning a little" said Mark Muro a Brookings senior fellow.
An uptick in once-struggling areas could make a significant difference in voters perceptions of the economy because people tend to view growth relative to their own recent pasts and their neighbors situations Muro said.The Trump administration and many business leaders point to a jump in economic optimism especially among manufacturers and blue-collar workers and a robust level of business investment as concrete signs of improvement. They believe the recent economic growth proves the success of the administrations economic agenda which has been headlined by tax cuts deregulation and protectionist trade policies.
In 2016 manufacturing was close to a recession. Weve come out of that with a lot of enthusiasm said Chad Moutray chief economist at NAM. He thinks theres a good chance this turnaround will last largely because manufacturers held onto cash during the recession and global head winds of 2015 and 2016. Now Moutray says the floodgates are open and youre seeing a lot more activity.Trump frequently touts manufacturing job growth since he took office as a sign that he is delivering on his promises to grow good-paying jobs.
This election is about jobs its about safety and jobs Trump said at a rally in Montana late last week. On Friday he dubbed it the rocket ship economy.
I could work from sunup to sundown seven days a week said Steve Klebenow 30 who owns and operates Gallatin Valley Welding in Churchill Montana a town of fewer than 900 people that had only two roads one of them dirt when he was growing up.
All I know right now is that were all busy. Its going to stay that way for a couple years and then its going to go back down" he said at the end of another 12-hour day.Job gains in smaller towns and rural areas accelerated last year and continued to build in early 2018. According to the Brookings Institutions Metropolitan Policy Program analysis of a separate set of Labor Department data released Wednesday:
- Rural employment grew at an annualized rate of 5.1 in the first quarter.
- Smaller metro areas grew 5 significantly higher than the 4.1 growth seen in large urban areas
I had 24 cities and towns bid for this project. Ashland was by far the poorest of them all" said Craig Bouchard the chief executive of Braidy Industries.
I chose Appalachia for one reason: They have eight times more available metalworking families than any other place in the country. Ive already got 7000 job applications."For Michael Tackett who has lived in eastern Kentucky all his life the factory offers an unexpected second chance.
This is massive for us. Weve been in an economic downturn for years actually decades but this could bring an economic boom to the area" said Tackett who is program coordinator of the Advanced Integrated Technology program at Ashland Community & Technical College.The gains in goods-producing industries over the past year are wide-ranging with a strong increase in oil and gas extraction machinery manufacturing transportation equipment manufacturing electrical equipment manufacturing and construction. And muscle jobs" still play an outsize role in some communities.
In places like Ohio and Wisconsin manufacturing is part of the DNA.
Voters there know what was lost and they see who is hiring now" said Scott Paul president the Alliance for American Manufacturing which has held recent focus groups with manufacturing workers.Its an ongoing debate among pollsters about whether voters are giving Trump credit for the improving economy. According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll out last week 58 of adults rate the economy as excellent" or good" but Trumps approval rating on the economy is 45. There are manufacturing jobs available right now but young people have moved on. An entire generation of Americans has forgotten about manufacturing as a career path" Paul said describing a big generational divide in how people view the importance of a vital manufacturing sector in their community. But for now A little winning in small-town and rural America is welcome news for a nation that has mostly been pulling apart during the last decade said the Brookings Report.