High Interest Rates and Trade Deficits Stifle U.S. Factory Jobs Growth 

Tags Jobs

Washington, D.C. — Manufacturing’s zero nominal jobs growth in March, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, demonstrates the sector’s ongoing struggles. U.S. factories have gained only 24,000 jobs over the past year, with high trade deficits and interest rates preventing the expansion that industrial policy could further unlock.  

“While the economy continues to generate a sizable number of new jobs, few of them have been added in factories over the past year. The flat manufacturing jobs number for March reflects that,” Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul said. “I believe there is a ceiling on factory job growth as long as interest rates remain so high, the dollar remains so strong, and the goods trade deficit stays so persistent.”

Private companies have announced more than $688 billion in U.S. manufacturing investment since President Biden took office, according to the White House. However, the U.S. goods trade deficit rose by $1 billion in February, the Census Bureau reported Thursday. The U.S. goods trade deficit with China alone was $19.9 billion. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is in China this week pressing Chinese officials to address their country’s chronic industrial overcapacity.

“Although there is a record factory building boom underway, those jobs will only come online months or even years from now. The outlook for manufacturing is better than it was four or eight years ago, but serious challenges remain.” Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul said.

Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul is available for interview.