MANUFACTURERS PROVIDING OUTSIZE BOOST TO ECONOMY
By Christopher S. Rugaber/Associated Press
February 20, 2012
WASHINGTON — American factories are humming — and driving the economy forward.
Manufacturers have been hiring more consistently than other employers, for jobs with better-than-average pay. They just had their best month of growth in five years. And more factory output has raised demand in some other industries, such as shipping, leading to further hiring.
“The manufacturing sector is on a tear,” said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics.
It’s an optimistic theme that serves President Obama’s political needs. Last Wednesday, Obama traveled to Milwaukee to salute a company that brought jobs back to the United States. The president has promoted the nation’s manufacturing base as an engine of growth and as evidence of a recovering economy.