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US Manufacturing Adds 1000 Jobs on Durable Goods

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

US manufacturers added only 1000 jobs overall in June with all of the strength occurring in durable goods.

Makers of durable goods added 9000 jobs while manufacturing in non-durable goods lost 8000, according to a breakdown by industry issued today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Within durable goods, job gainers included machinery (up 3500 jobs), fabricated metal products (3000) and primary metals (2300).

However, some major categories posted job losses. Transportation equipment lost 2700 jobs, including 1300 jobs in the motorized vehicle and parts category.

Over the past two years, the auto industry was a strong jobs performed amid record US deliveries of light vehicles in 2015 and 2016.

In the first half of 2017, light-vehicle sales fell 2.1% to 8.45 million, according to Autodata Corp. (Mahwah, NJ). Car sales plunged 11% during that period while light truck sales rose 4.6%. Trucks and sports-utility vehicle sales have benefited from low fuel prices.

Job Gains

Manufacturing jobs totaled 12.396 million on a seasonally adjusted basis last month. That’s up from an adjusted 12.395 million in May. The June figure also was an improvement from 12.347 million manufacturing jobs in June 2016.

Total non-farm employment surged by 222,000 jobs in June, the bureau said in a statement. That was better than forecasts of economists, which called for a 179,000 gain, according to Reuters.

The US unemployment rate edged up to 4.4% from the 16-year-low of 4.3% in May. The rise was due to more people looking for work.

Manufacturing jobs peaked in June 1979 (19.6 million on a seasonally adjusted basis, 19.7 million unadjusted). That sank to a low of 11.45 million adjusted and 11.34 million unadjusted in February 2010 following a severe recession caused by the 2008 financial crisis.

Since that low, new manufacturing jobs have been created requiring increased skills because of more automation and technology in factories.

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