Factory orders take a tumble in August; drop 3.3%

Steep drop worse than expected as auto, appliance orders fall; jobs show some rebound

By Plant Engineering Staff October 5, 2007

The Commerce Department reported that August orders to factories fell 3.3%, which was the sharpest decline since January and worse than the 2.8% drop economists expected. The reported noted a slowdown in aircraft orders, but losses were also seen in automobiles, appliances and industrial machinery.
The news was a little better on the jobs front . While unemployment climbed to its highest level since August 2006 at 4.7%, there was a net gain of 110,000 jobs in September, according to the Labor Department. Revised payroll number from July and August meant a net gain of almost 250,000 jobs. One of the more interesting changes came from the August numbers. When they were first reported, they showed a loss of 4,000 jobs, which sent the stock market and economists into a frenzy. Now the revised report shows a gain of 89,000 jobs for the month. The change was credited to a net increase of 59,000 givernment jobs, up from a reported loss of 28,000 jobs.