Not Working: Manufacturing Again Loses Jobs

After adding 19,000 jobs in April, U.S. manufacturing shed 14,000 jobs in May, dropping overall manufacturing employment to 14.23 million, according to statistics released June 2 by the U.S. Labor Department.

In contrast, construction, which along with manufacturing accounts for most of the jobs in the goods-producing sector of the U.S. economy, added 1,000 jobs in May.

Within manufacturing, employment among automakers and producers of computers and other electronic equipment declined in May. Both sectors had added jobs in April. Also among durable goods manufacturers laying off workers in May were makers of non-metallic mineral products and fabricated metal products. Among non-durable goods manufacturers, jobs were lost in food; beverages and tobacco; textiles; apparel; printing; and plastics and rubber.

In May, the manufacturing workweek lost a tenth of an hour, to 41.1 hours. Factory overtime was unchanged from April, at 4.6 hours.

Overall U.S. nonfarm employment rose by 75,000 in May, and the unemployment rate fell a tenth of a percentage point to 4.6%. However, May's job gain was nearly 100,000 below what economists generally anticipated and just half the monthly rate of 150,000 new jobs needed to keep up with U.S. population growth.

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