This Morning in Metals: Manufacturing employment falls; unemployment steady at 3.5%

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This morning in metals news, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released monthly jobs data Friday, Liberty Steel Group announced it is the preferred buyer for Bayou Steel Group and U.S. November steel shipments dropped 3.1%.

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Unemployment rate holds steady

According to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 3.5% in December.

In the manufacturing sector, employment fell by 12,000 jobs in December, while the sector was up 46,000 jobs in 2019 overall. Meanwhile, the sector added 264,000 jobs in 2018.

Liberty named preferred buyer for Bayou Steel

Liberty Steel Group, part of steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, has emerged as the preferred buyer for Louisiana’s Bayou Steel Group, which closed abruptly in October 2019.

According to Liberty, the company has bid $28 million for the steel firm based in LaPlace, Louisiana.

“Subject to completion of a $28 million deal to acquire the business, Liberty has developed a plan to upgrade and modernise Bayou’s idled steel mill in LaPlace, Louisiana, with a view to re-starting its recycling operations in the second half of 2020 and steel making operations by 2021,” Liberty said in a release. “The transaction is expected to close on January 31, 2020.”

November steel shipments fall

U.S. steel mills shipped 7.67 million tons of steel in November, which marked a 3.1% decline from October shipment levels, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

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Through the first 11 months of 2019, U.S. steel shipments reached 88.16 million tons, up 0.8% on a year-over-year basis.

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