The U.S. stock market is gaining ground today after the Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy lost "only" 20,000 jobs in April -- experts had been predicting the figure would be closer to 85,000. The service sector added jobs, but manufacturers cut 46,000, and construction companies laid off 61,000. This is good news? Apparently investors think so -- they're taking it as a sign that the "economic downturn is beginning to abate," according to the New York Times story. Scott Paul, executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing had this statement:
“We're in a jobs crisis. America lost another 46,000 manufacturing jobs last month. While Washington cheers the tax rebates, it continues to ignore the structural challenges that face manufacturing. Unless Congress and the Administration hold China accountable for its cheating -- which is the single greatest factor contributing to manufacturing's woes -- and get serious about making American manufacturing more competitive, these job losses will grow every month. The economy is top of mind for voters in Indiana, North Carolina, and all over America. It's time for all three presidential candidates to offer a vision for jobs and manufacturing in the future -- and it's crucial for Congress and the Administration to act now.”Do plastics processors agree that China is "the single greatest factor contributing to manufacturing's woes"? I think rising energy and commodity prices are a bigger problem than China right now.