AEM Releases Statement on Unemployment Rate

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), Milwaukee, Wis., released a statement today regarding the recent U.S. Employment Situation Report that unemployment is at 9.8 percent. Calling it “very bad news for the overall economy,” Dennis Slater, AEM’s president, went on to say the situation in the construction equipment industry, which includes manufacturing, distribution and repair stations, is much worse.

“The industry is in a depression, not a recession,” Slater said in his statement. “It has lost 37 percent of its jobs since the economic downturn began. To put this in context, the job losses in other sectors are indeed terrible—auto manufacturing and dealership jobs are down 16 percent and the finance and insurance industries are down by 6 percent—but a 37-percent job loss is devastating.

“The leaders in Washington had hoped for improvement in the unemployment rate, but the trend lines are still going up, and our industry is facing disaster,” Slater’s statement continued. “Congressional action to fully fund the highway bill could reverse this trend in the construction equipment industry.”

Earlier this week, AEM released a study conducted by IHS Global Insight that discussed the job loss in the construction equipment sector. The study found that among the direct and indirect effects of the recession on the construction equipment industry 8 percent of all jobs lost during the recession can be traced to this sector. AEM initiated a campaign on Tuesday to draw national and Congressional attention to the disaster facing our industry.