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Manufacturing Jobs Surge on Motorized Vehicles

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Manufacturing employment surged in July on job gains in the motorized vehicle sector, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said today.

Manufacturing added 26,000 jobs last month, according to a breakdown by industry issued by the bureau. Of that figure, 15,000 came in durable goods industries.

Leading the way was an increase of 39,300 jobs in motorized vehicles and parts. The auto industry restarted operations in May following shutdowns intended to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The industry reopened with new safety procedures.

Automakers and suppliers have brought workers back to work and are moving to accelerate output. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and FCA US LLC have resumed output of large pickups, their main source of profits.

Another job gainer was miscellaneous manufacturing, adding 11,700 jobs.

Several industries cut jobs. Among them: fabricated metal products (down 11,400 jobs) machinery (down 6,700), computer and electronic products (down 6,400).

Manufacturing totaled 12.112 million jobs in July. That was up from an adjusted 12.086 million the month before.

However, manufacturing employment lags year-earlier levels. The July figure was below the 12.845 million for July 2019. Manufacturing has added 623,000 jobs in the past three months. But the sector still is down 740,000 jobs from February before COVID-19 shutdowns began.

Non-farm employment gained 1.8 million jobs in July, the bureau said in a statement. That was better than the 1.6 million forecast by economists surveyed by Reuters.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent from 11.1 percent in June.

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