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Wed Jan 11, 2012, 11:44 AM

Job Outlook Brightens From U.S. Factories to Fracking [View all]

By Shobhana Chandra - Wed Jan 11 15:52:10 GMT 2012

Manufacturing and mining are set to power U.S. job gains again this year, from auto assembly plants in Ohio to the oil and gas fields of North Dakota.

The two industries combined helped spark the biggest annual job gains for the economy in five years in 2011, with factory payrolls expanding the most in 14 years and mining adding more jobs than any period in the past three decades, according to Labor Department figures.

Economists Peter Cappelli and John Silvia say those gains are likely to be extended in 2012. The improvement may spread beyond factory floors and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, used to drill for oil: retailers, the leisure industry and even construction may also benefit.

Last year’s employment increases “are good signs for this year,” said Cappelli, a labor economist and director of the Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “Manufacturing is the most important story because it has spillover effects on other industries in a way that services may not.”

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-11/u-s-job-outlook-brightens-from-ohio-factories-to-dakota-fracking-economy.html

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