For Immediate Release


Tillie McInnis
Domestic Communications Coordinator
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Dan Beeton
International Communications Coordinator

The Center for Economic and Policy Research Launches the Blue Collar Jobs Tracker

WASHINGTON - Donald Trump ran on the promise of “bringing jobs back” to the US, particularly jobs in manufacturing and mining. Trump promised “America First” trade policies, lower taxes, and reduced regulation in order to fulfill his promise. In order to track Donald Trump’s progress, The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) is launching the “Blue Collar Jobs Tracker”, which will track employment nationally and by state in three major areas of blue collar employment: manufacturing, construction, and mining & logging.

CEPR will update the Blue Collar Jobs Tracker (BCJT) monthly to follow the extent to which Trump has been successful, or unsuccessful, in this promise. The tracker will also feature occasional pieces on trade, employment, taxes, and other economic issues that impact the blue collar sector.

The first BCJT shows a 0.5 percent gain in total number of jobs in manufacturing, construction, and mining in February – this is better than the 0.1 percent that was expected. The biggest gains in blue collar employment were in Illinois (9,000), Texas (8,300), Ohio (7,000), New York (6,000), and Colorado (5,900). In spite of the overall growth, nine states still lost blue collar jobs in February, with the list topped by Virginia (-2,800), Michigan, Georgia, South Carolina and Mississippi. Mining showed its first gain in employment in more than two years, while a February increase of 28,000 jobs in manufacturing brought job growth over the last year to a small net positive.

Dean Baker, Economist and Co-Director of CEPR, explained, “The February numbers were unusually good for all three blue collar sectors. Part of this is likely better than usual weather for the month in much of the country. It remains to be seen whether this growth is an anomaly or the beginning of a longer term trend.”

To sign up for monthly updates of the BCJT, click here to sign up for CEPR’s Data Bytes.


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The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. In order for citizens to effectively exercise their voices in a democracy, they should be informed about the problems and choices that they face. CEPR is committed to presenting issues in an accurate and understandable manner, so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options.

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