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Manufacturing Adds 55,000 Jobs, Paced by Transportation

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Manufacturing added 55,000 jobs in April, with the transportation sector leading the way, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said today.

Durable goods accounted for a 31,000-job gain, according to a breakdown by industry issued by the bureau. Transportation equipment posted an increase of 13,700 jobs.

Within transportation, motor vehicles and parts saw an increase of 6,100 jobs. The auto industry has had employment ups and downs. A continuing shortage of computer chips has caused temporary plant shutdowns.

Other sectors with employment increases included machinery, up 7,400 jobs, and fabricated metal products, up 3,500. Sectors with job losses included miscellaneous manufacturing, down 1,400.

Manufacturing employment totaled 12.729 million jobs in April on a seasonally adjusted basis. That’s up from a revised 12.674 million in March and 12.631 million in April 2021.

Employment in the sector still trails the 12.785 million in February 2020. That was the last month before the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on the U.S. economy. COVID spurred manufacturers to implement new safety procedures.

Total non-farm employment increased by 428,000 jobs in April, the bureau said in a statement. Economists surveyed by Reuters forecast a gain of 391,000. The U.S. unemployment rate was changed at 3.6 percent.

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