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U.S. Manufacturing Employment Rebounds in February

Posted by IndustrySelect on Friday, March 5, 2021


New data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that the U.S. manufacturing sector bounced back slightly in February, recovering some of the jobs the sector lost in January.

Employment in the U.S. economy overall increased by 379,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.2%.

Job gains in the U.S were led by leisure and hospitality as COVID-related restrictions began to ease in many parts of the country, while professional business services, including staffing services posted gains. 

Losses were seen in local government education and state government education.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that manufacturing employment increased by 21,000 jobs, after losing 10,000 jobs in January, for a net gain of 11,000 jobs so far for 2021. But which industries within the manufacturing world gained jobs? Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Read More: Job Openings in Manufacturing Hit All-Time High

February 2021 Manufacturing Job Gains & Losses by Sector

In February, the U.S. manufacturing sector added 21,000 new positions. This included a 17,000 job-gain in durable goods manufacturing and a 4,000 job-gain for non-durable goods manufacturing.

Interestingly, durable goods manufacturing lost 17,000 jobs in January, while non-durable goods, which includes things like machinery, electronics and automobiles, added 7,000 job in January. This means that the non-durable goods sector, which includes industries such as food, textiles and paper manufacturing, has accounted for all manufacturing job gains so far in 2021.

In February, durable goods industries such as transportation equipment sector rebounded strongly, with the sector adding 9,700 jobs. Machinery also added jobs, up by 3,800. This was followed by miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing with 2,800 jobs and electrical equipment and appliances with 2,400 jobs.

Losses in durable goods were seen in non-metallic mineral products, down 2,400 jobs and wood products, down by 1,100.

On the non-durable goods manufacturing side, gains were led by the miscellaneous nondurable goods manufacturing sector, up by 4,100 jobs, followed by plastics and rubber with 3,000 jobs and apparel with 2,400 jobs. Losses were seen in food manufacturing for the first time in several months, down by 3,100 jobs and printing/related support activities, down by 1,700 jobs.

Looking to Help Manufacturers With Staffing Needs?

Even before the pandemic, manufacturing companies were having a tough time finding skilled workers. COVID-19 has made recruiting even more challenging and many industrial companies are looking for staffing help. 

If you’re looking to help manufacturers with their staffing and workforce or automation needs, an IndustrySelect subscription can help you find new customers in the industrial world. Click here to learn more. 


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