U.S. manufacturers added 6,000 net jobs in July, ending a four-month slide, according to the monthly employment report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Coupled with yesterday’s news of a robust increase in the ISM manufacturing-activity index, today’s jobs report suggests the manufacturing sector may be rebounding from its first-half slump.

But the longer view provides less reason for optimism. National Association of Manufacturers Chief Economist Chad Moutray noted in his Shopfloor blog that U.S. manufacturers have hired 40,000 workers over the last 12 months—a scant 1.8% of the 2.3 million net nonfarm jobs created in that period. By contrast, the manufacturing sector contributed 10.4% of the new nonfarm jobs in 2010 and 2011.

“Clearly, we need to get back to where the sector is growing strongly and adding new workers at a faster pace,” Moutray said.