The United States steel industry is in “deep recession,” and its steelworkers are losing their jobs at the fastest rate in the country, according to a new report.
The report by the National Association of Manufacturers, released Wednesday, found the steel industry lost 3,596 manufacturing jobs in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 3,584 in the same period last year.
The jobs lost are largely at the manufacturing end of the industry, with some steelworkers being laid off at the end of construction or on site during construction.
The total number of jobs lost is also up 2,800 over the same time last year, the report said.
The steel industry has been in a “dramatic” downturn since the early 2000s, according the NAM, with a number of industries experiencing significant job losses.
The industry’s total payrolls fell 2.2 million in 2016, while employment fell 7.4 million in 2015.
The number of steelworkers has dropped over the past few years, with the sector now losing 1.3 million jobs annually.
The NAM report noted that there were 858,000 more jobs in manufacturing in 2016 than there were in December 2016, an increase of 1.5 million over the prior year.
While there were fewer steelworkers employed in the manufacturing sector, that doesn’t necessarily mean there weren’t jobs in other industries.
In the construction industry, the total number rose 1.2 percent from the previous year, while total jobs in construction fell 2 percent.
The number of workers in the service and consumer industries rose by 1.7 percent, while the number of service workers fell 2 per cent.