Labor Day report provides snapshot of U.S. economy 

By Plant Engineering Staff August 31, 2006

While the National Association of Manufacturers’ annual Labor Day Report is good news for manufacturers, soaring energy costs are hurting manufacturing workers at the pump and in their paychecks.

“The report provides a snapshot of the U.S. economic performance over the past year,” said John Engler, president and CEO of NAM.

Manufacturing production increased at its fastest pace in six years and jobs on the factory floor have posted their strongest gains since 1998.

“But while workers’ total compensation has continued to outpace inflation, wages have not,” Huether said. “Surging energy prices have propelled inflation at a faster pace than workers’ take-home pay and have resulted in declines in real wages for working Americans.”

“Over the past year energy prices have risen 23% due to increased global demand, limited domestic supplies, natural disasters and global instability,” Engler said. “As a result, real wages have fallen by 0.5% over the past year when they should have gone up by 1.2%.
Visit to see the report and accompanying charts.