U.S. manufacturers added jobs at a slower rate in November, according to the latest jobs report from the Labor Department issued December 2nd.
In November, U.S. manufacturers added 14,000 jobs, roughly half the 32,000 new positions the sector added in October. Meanwhile, the economy added 263,000 jobs overall in November, and the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.7%.
Additionally, the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey finds the number of job openings in manufacturing dropped significantly, with the Labor Department recording 759,000 unfilled positions for the sector in October (October JOLTS data is reported in December). This is compared to 835,000 open positions reported in September and 944,000 unfilled positions reported one year ago.
Notably, job openings in manufacturing remain at historic levels, with the average number of unfilled positions in 2019 sitting at 437,000—roughly half of what they are today, suggesting manufacturers are still struggling with finding workers.
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Today, we’re exploring the most recent manufacturing numbers from the Labor Department, providing the gains and losses by specific subsector, as well as the latest in manufacturing job openings.
In November, manufacturing job gains were largely led by the durable goods sector, which increased by 11,000 jobs. Non-durable goods added another 3,000 jobs.
Gains in durable goods were led by transportation equipment, which added 6,100 jobs. This was followed by machinery which added 3,900 positions. Computer and electronic products, which also added 3,900, and nonmetallic mineral products, which grew by 1,800 positions. .
Other sectors adding jobs included wood products (+1,600) and fabricated metal products (+1,300).
On the non-durable durable goods side, job gains were led by the chemicals industry, which added 4,700 jobs and food manufacturing, which gained 3,400.
Manufacturing job losses in November were sharpest in plastics/rubber products, which shed 3,200 jobs. Additional losses included electrical equipment and appliances, which dropped 2,400 jobs and paper products, which lost 2,000.
Marginal losses were also reported in primary metals (-1,700); furniture/related products (-1,500) and printing/related support activities (-1,200).
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