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Monday, March 02, 2009

February 2009 Manufacturing ISM: Employment Index at Record Low

by Calculated Risk on 3/02/2009 10:30:00 AM

From the ISM: February 2009 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

"Manufacturing continues to decline at a rapid rate in February. While production has slowed its rate of decline, employment continues to fall precipitously. Prices continue to decline, but price advantages are not sufficient to overcome manufacturers' apparent loss of demand. Survey respondents appear generally pessimistic about recovery in 2009."
Manufacturing contracted in February as the PMI registered 35.8 percent, which is 0.2 percentage point higher than the 35.6 percent reported in January. This is the 13th consecutive month of contraction in the manufacturing sector. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.
ISM's Employment Index registered 26.1 percent in February, which is 3.8 percentage points lower than the 29.9 percent reported in January. This is the seventh consecutive month of decline in employment. An Employment Index above 49.7 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on manufacturing employment.
Manufacturing is still contracting, and employment is especially weak with the employment index at a record low (since the index started in 1948).