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U.S. is still producing goods, just with fewer employees

A production line manufacturing

Jeremy Hobson: We'll start with Josh Brown of Fusion Analytics. He's with us live from New York as he is every Wednesday.

Josh Brown: Good morning.

Hobson: So Josh, what do you make of these durable good orders numbers?

Brown: You know I think it's a bit of a non-event. A tenth of a percent drop is nothing to write home about, just like a tenth of a percent gain would be nothing to write home about. It's actually nice to see we haven't gone off a cliff there though given how volatile markets have been.

Hobson: Well this gives us some sense of the manufacturing sector, what does it tell you about companies and what they're ordering and what the manufacturing sector looks like?

Brown: You know the manufacturing sector was once such a major force of this country, in the 1970s 25 percent of the work force was in manufacturing, now it's more like 10 percent. So we're still producing a ton of goods, about 1.7 trillion a year, 40 percent more than China does, however we're doing it with less employees, and that's what's so is vexing.

Hobson: Well yesterday our analyst Juli Niemann was telling us that since consumers aren't coming to the rescue of the economy and the housing sector isn't coming to the rescue that it has to be manufacturing that drags us out. What do you think of that?

Brown: I'm not sure if anything drags us out, I think enough time goes by where the housing picture stops getting worse, people start to get jobs, manufacturing kicks in around the same time. We need a concerted amount of demand from a lot of different quarters and unfortunately that just looks like it's a ways out, it doesn't look like that's even a 2012 story.

Hobson: Josh Brown of Fusion Analytics, thanks so much.

Brown: Thank you.

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