Jobs in the Midwest have taken a one-two punch from the national housing slump and the flagging Detroit auto industry, the Wall Street Journal reports. Factories that make the materials used to build new homes in high-flying markets from California to Florida are starting to downsize, following huge layoffs by auto makers. Building material manufacturer USG—based in Chicago—has cut 1,100 jobs in the past year.
The Midwest never had the big boom in construction which is now fizzling, but the region is affected by the slowdown in the rest of the country. "If you have a slowdown in Southern California, it's going to be felt in the Midwest," says a member of a policy group. On Friday, the Labor department said that 4,400 nonfarm jobs disappeared in August.