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Manufacturing Adds 26,000 Jobs in September

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

U.S. manufacturing added 26,000 jobs in September, paced by fabricated metal products and machinery, according to a breakdown by industry issued today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Durable goods gained 16,000 jobs, the bureau said. Fabricated metal products added 8,200 jobs while machinery increased employment by 6,300 jobs.

Other job gainers included wood products, up 2,300 jobs, and furniture, up 1,300.

Manufacturing was held back by a decline of 6,100 jobs in motor vehicles and parts. The auto industry has seen temporary plant shutdowns stemming from a continuing shortage of semiconductors.

Consulting firm AlixPartners last month estimated the computer chip shortage will cost the auto industry $210 billion globally in lost revenue this year. That was an increase from a May estimate of $110 billion.

Manufacturing employment in September totaled 12.446 million on a seasonally adjusted basis. That was up from an adjusted 12.42 million the month before and 12.123 million in September 2020.

The sector still hasn’t fully recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. Manufacturing employment is down 353,000 from February 2020, the last month before COVID-19 affected the economy, the bureau said in a statement.

Total non-farm employment increased by 194,000 jobs last month, the bureau said. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast a job gain of 500,000.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent last month from 5.2 percent in August.

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