In August, the reality of the oil crunch finally caught up with the BLS, when not only did the number of Mining and Logging employees decline again by 10,000 workers to 823K, the lowest since October 2011, an 8-month stretch of consecutive declines last seen during the previous recession driven by the ongoing weakness in the oil patch and the US shale drilling sector…

… but far more importantly for those tracking the US manufacturing recession, for the first time in over two years, the US manufacturing sector also lost workers, as 17,000 mfg lost their jobs. As shown in the chart below, this is the first time US manufacturing jobs have declined since July 2013, and the sudden drop means that only 28,000 manufacturing jobs have been added so far in 2015.

Considering the flurry of subprime-debt driven activity in US auto manufacturing, this was a very unexpected outcome, and those concerned that the US is about to enter, or already finds itself in, a manufacturing recession this will be the most important number in the months to come.

But don’t worry: while US manufacturing may have peaked, US waiters and bartender are more than making up for it. In August, the US service economy grew by another 26,100 waiters and bartenders, bring the total to a record 11.1 million, thanks to 207,100 “food service and drinking places” jobs added in 2015: nearly 7 times more than manufacturing workers added over this period.

Putting this all together, since the start of the Second Great Depression, the US economy has lost 1.4 million manufacturing workers, but has more than made up for this with the addition ff 1.5 million waiters and bartenders.

And there, in one chart, is your minimum-wage recovery.


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