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Manufacturing Adds 13,000 Jobs in January

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Manufacturers added a modest 13,000 jobs last month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Employment in durable goods rose by 8,000 jobs, according to a breakdown by industry issued by the bureau.

Durable goods industries were mixed. Job gainers included fabricated metal products, up 5,000 jobs, and machinery up 3,600.

However, gains were partially offset by job losses in transportation equipment, down 9,500 jobs. That included a decline of 4,900 jobs in motor vehicles and parts.

The auto industry over the past year has dealt with a global shortage of semiconductors. That, in turn, has affected production and caused temporary plant shutdowns.

Also, manufacturing generally is trying to cope with supply chain disruptions.

Manufacturing employment totaled 12.559 million on a seasonally adjusted basis, up from an adjusted 12.546 million in December. The January figure also compares with 12.184 million in January 2021.

Manufacturing hasn’t fully recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. Employment for the sector totaled 12.785 million in February 2020, the last month before COVID-19 slammed the U.S. economy. After the onset of COVID-19, manufacturers implemented new safety procedures.

Total non-farm employment surged by 467,000 jobs last month, the bureau said in a statement. That was better than an average increase of 150,000 in a Reuters survey of economists.

The U.S. unemployment rate edged up to 4 percent from 3.9 percent the month before.

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