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Manufacturing Employment Rises in July, Paced by Durable Goods

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Manufacturing employment climbed in July, with the bulk of the gain coming from durable goods.

The economy added 30,000 manufacturing jobs last month, with 21,000 of that coming from durable goods, according to a breakdown by industry issued today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Industries adding jobs included fabricated metal products, up 4,200; miscellaneous manufacturing, up 3,700; semiconductors, up 3,500; machinery, up 3,400; and transportation equipment, up 2,200.

Manufacturing totaled 12.826 million in July on a seasonally adjusted basis. That compared with an adjusted 12.796 million in June and 12.769 million in July 2021.

Employment in manufacturing is now 41,000 jobs above February 2020 levels, the bureau said in a statement.

That was the last month before COVID-19 began to slam the U.S. economy. By mid-2020, manufacturers had implemented new safety procedures to adapt to the coronavirus. Since that time, vaccines have helped to curb the impact of COVID-19.

Total non-farm employment surged by 528,000 jobs in July, the bureau said. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast an average gain of 250,000 jobs.

The U.S. unemployment rate in July declined to 3.5 percent from 3.6 percent the month before. The bureau said both total non-farm employment and the unemployment rate have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

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