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Manufacturing Adds 27,000 Jobs, Paced by Durable Goods

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Manufacturing boosted employment by 27,000 jobs in July, with durable goods doing the heavy lifting.

Durable goods accounted for 20,000 jobs of last month’s gain, according to a breakdown by industry issued today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pacing the gains were machinery, up 6,800 jobs, miscellaneous manufacturing, up 5,500, and fabricated metal parts, up 4,500. Transportation equipment, a major category, was down 1,500 jobs, although the motor vehicles and parts category was up 800.

The auto industry has been dealing with a global shortage of semiconductors, which has forced automakers to reduce production. The chip shortage is forecast to last into 2022.

Manufacturing totaled 12.366 million jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in July. That was up from an adjusted 12.339 million the month before and 12.037 million in July 2020.

In 2020, manufacturing felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some industries shut plants to implement new safety procures to deal with the virus.

Manufacturing employment still lags pre-pandemic levels. The manufacturing job total is 433,000 below February 2020, the last month before COVID-19 began to hit the U.S. economy.

Non-farm employment in July jumped by 943,000 jobs, the bureau said in a statement. Gains occurred in industries such as leisure and hospitality as well as professional and business services. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast an increase of 870,000 jobs.

The U.S. unemployment rate slid to 5.4 percent from 5.9 percent in June.

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