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Manufacturing Adds 31,000 Jobs in November

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Manufacturing increased employment by 31,000 jobs last month, split almost evenly between non-durable and durable goods industries.

Non-durable goods added 16,000 jobs with durable goods boosting employment by 15,000, according to a breakdown by industry issued today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Within durable goods, job gainers included miscellaneous manufacturing, up 10,000 jobs, and fabricated metal products, up 7,900.

Industries that lost jobs included motorized vehicles and parts, down 10,100 jobs, and machinery, down 6,000. The bureau said the machinery decline reflected a strike.

The auto industry has been hit throughout this year by a shortage of computer chips. That has forced automakers to implement temporary factory shutdowns.

Manufacturing totaled 12.546 million in November on a seasonally adjusted basis. That’s up from an adjusted 12.515 million in October and 12.196 million in November 2020.

Employment in manufacturing remains down by about 253,000 jobs since February 2020, the bureau said in a statement. That was the last month before COVID-19 caused economic disruptions.

Total non-farm employment rose by 210,000 jobs in November, according to the bureau. That was lower than expected. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast an average gain of 550,000 jobs.

The U.S. unemployment rate declined to 4.2 percent from 4.6 percent in October.

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