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Manufacturing Fares Well in November Jobs Report

Dec. 6, 2013
It was one among several strong sectoral showings as the overall economy gained 203,000 net jobs and the unemployment rate dropped from 7.3% to 7.0%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly jobs report released today.

America's manufacturing industry revved its engine in November, adding 27,000 jobs.

It was one among several strong sectoral showings as the overall economy gained 203,000 net jobs and the unemployment rate dropped from 7.3% to 7.0%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly jobs report released today.

Within the manufacturing sector, the subsectors posting the biggest job gains were:

Food 7,800
Motor vehicles & parts 6,700
Transportation equipment 4,900
Fabricated metal products 3,100
Furniture & related products 2,100
Nonmetallic mineral products 2,000
Primary metals 1,700
Petroleum & coal products 1,600

The 27,000-job net increase was the manufacturing sector's largest monthly gain since March 2012 and was consistent with production increases posted since the beginning of the third quarter, according to Chad Moutray, chief economist of the National Association of Manufacturers.

"This is definitely an encouraging sign, particularly given the hesitance of many business leaders of late to add new workers given uncertainties in the market," Moutray wrote in NAM's Shopfloor blog.

Also encouraging is the fact that the November job burst pushed total manufacturing employment to 12,014,000—the first time U.S. manufacturing employment has exceeded 12 million since April 2009.

Caution: A Long Way to Go

Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, said the industry "finally has something to cheer about," but he tempered that, noting, "It's only one month and it's not guaranteed."

Paul also pointed out that even with the strong November showing, the manufacturing sector has made little progress toward President Obama's goal of creating 1 million manufacturing jobs during his second term.

According to the AAM's #AAMeter job tracker, the net manufacturing jobs gain from January through November—i.e., the first 11 months of Obama's second term—is 63,000. To reach the president's goal of 1 million new jobs, the manufacturing sector would have to create 25,324 net jobs per month through the remainder of his presidency.

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