This is, admittedly, a very noisy graph, even presented year over year. But it’s worth getting through the noise.
We’re about to have a new president, one who has promised to bring back our manufacturing jobs. BTW, those words were the most painful for our colleagues in the manufacturing midwest who have lived with the disruption caused by the erosion of manufacturing work in the region; the situation has improved but those on the ground know those jobs are not coming back.
But, as the graph shows, diesel fuel usage tends to lead manufacturing employment, and it really spiked in October. Historically, that would lead to an improvement in manufacturing employment in, you guessed it, early 2017.
So if the manufacturing outlook brightens as we move into the new year, remember those tea leaves were thrown in October, not on inauguration day.