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Volume 91 Issue 26 | pp. 38-40
Issue Date: July 1, 2013

Cover Stories: Facts & Figures Of The Chemical Industry

Chemical Payroll Rise Is Spotty

Deal-making contributes to employment growth at some major chemical firms
Department: Business
Keywords: facts and figures, employment, layoffs, pharmaceuticals, acquisitions

To download a PDF of the full article and tables, visit http://cenm.ag/empl2013.

In 2012, the overall U.S. manufacturing sector saw a modest 1.6% increase in jobs, or 193,000 positions. The uptick did not reach the chemical industry, however, where payrolls were flat overall. And revised statistics from the Department of Labor show that chemical employment decreased by 3,000 workers in 2011 compared with 2010.

The number of employees at some firms did increase notably in the U.S. as well as in Europe and Japan, but the growth was driven by acquisitions rather than by overall job expansion. For example, Eastman Chemical picked up 3,400 workers when it acquired Solutia. Similarly, Cabot’s purchase of Norit and Cytec Industries’ deal to take over Umeco added to employee counts at those firms.

In Europe, Linde added the largest number of workers. Of Linde’s 11,600 new hires, more than 10,800 came through its acquisition of the U.S. home health care business Lincare. In contrast, several European firms trimmed staff, including AkzoNobel, Arkema, BASF, Bayer, Clariant, Kemira, Lonza, Merck, and Wacker Chemie.

Interactive Tables

EUROPE COMPANY EMPLOYMENT

Gas firms Linde and Air Liquide added the most workers in 2012

JAPAN COMPANY EMPLOYMENT

Asahi and Toray boosted headcount, but Showa Denko shrank its payroll

OVERALL U.S. EMPLOYMENT

Chemical job growth for all types of employees was flat in most sectors, ending a negative trend

U.S. COMPANY EMPLOYMENT

Total employment at firms tracked by C&EN rose for a second year in a row, beat 2002 level

U.S. PAY

Workers making resins and pharmaceuticals saw weekly earnings dip in 2012

U.S. PRODUCTION WORKERS

Economic recovery brought a slight increase in chemical and manufacturing jobs

U.S. PRODUCTIVITY

Most chemical sectors saw a drop in productivity ...
... while the results in overall labor costs were mixed

Japanese chemical firms tracked by C&EN increased employment by nearly 3% in 2012. That figure reflects in large part moves outside Japan. Asahi Kasei, for example, grew by 3,000 when it bought U.S. medical device maker Zoll and expanded chemical operations in Thailand. Japan’s most profitable chemical firm, Shin-Etsu Chemical, acquired a majority stake in a domestic vinyl producer and also expanded operations in China and Vietnam. Overall, the company brought in 1,500 workers.

The chemical industry, which spent most of the 2000s boosting productivity, is now worried about slow global economic growth and is reluctant to hire. Still, in the U.S., the jobs climate has been more stable recently than during the past decade, which saw an average 1.7% yearly decrease in chemical employment.

Meanwhile, the global pharmaceutical industry continued to lay off workers last year, including in R&D positions. Job cuts were announced at AstraZeneca, Novartis, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Johnson & Johnson, Human Genome Sciences, and Sanofi. Pink-slip deliveries can be difficult to track, however, and official U.S. statistics show that pharma employment was unchanged in 2012.

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