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Manufacturing Adds 66,000 Jobs in September

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

U.S. manufacturing added 66,000 jobs in September, with the majority of that in durable goods, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said today.

The split was 46,000 jobs in durable goods and 20,000 in non-durable goods, according to a breakdown by sector issued by the bureau.

Within durable goods, the leading job gainer was motorized vehicles and parts, with a gain of 14,300. The auto industry restarted operations in May after factory shutdowns stemming from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

However, employment in the category lags from year-earlier levels, Motor vehicle and parts jobs totaled 919,000 last month, down from 997,700 in September 2019, according to the bureau.

Machinery was another sector with large job gains, adding 13,800. Primary metals was the main durable goods job loser, cutting 3,400.

Manufacturing totaled 12.2 million on a seasonally adjusted basis in September. That was up from an adjusted 12.1 million in August.

Nevertheless, manufacturing is 647,000 jobs below February’s level, the bureau said in a statement. That was the last month before COVID-19 began to slam the U.S. economy. Manufacturing totaled 12.851 million in September 2019.

Total non-farm employment increased by 661,000 jobs last month, the bureau said. That was below a forecast of an 850,000 job gain by economists surveyed by Reuters.

The U.S. unemployment rate dipped to 7.9 percent last month from 8.4 percent in August. The jobless rate this year reached a peak of 14.7 percent in April.

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