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Manufacturing Adds 60,000 Jobs Paced by Motor Vehicles

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Manufacturers added 60,000 jobs in October, with motor vehicles and parts leading the way.

The motor vehicle category boosted employment by 27,700 jobs, according to a breakdown by industry issued today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Durable goods overall added 41,000 jobs.

Auto industry employment has fluctuated this year amid a global shortage of computer chips. Automakers have implemented temporary factory shutdowns due to the shortage.

Companies including General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. have said they expect the supply of chips to improve going into 2022.

Other job gainers included fabricated metal products, up 5,800 jobs, miscellaneous manufacturing, up 4,400, and primary metals, up 2,000.

Durable goods categories showing a decline in jobs were furniture, down 600, and nonmetallic mineral products, down 400.

Manufacturing employment totaled 12.529 million in October on a seasonally adjusted basis. That was an improvement from an adjusted 12.469 million the month before and 12.155 million in October 2020.

However, manufacturing employment has not fully recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. Manufacturing jobs are down by 270,000 compared with February 2020, the bureau said in a statement. That was the last month before COVID slammed the U.S. economy.

Total non-farm employment rose by 531,000 jobs in October, according to the bureau. That was better than the 450,000 forecast in a survey of economists by Reuters.

The U.S. unemployment rate declined to 4.6 percent last month from 4.8 percent in September.

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