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U.S. Manufacturing Hiring Accelerates in March

Posted by IndustrySelect on Monday, April 5, 2021


New data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that the U.S. manufacturers added twice the number of jobs last month than reported in February, as new orders and production soared. Meanwhile, employment in the U.S. economy overall increased by 916,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate declined slightly to 6%.

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, with nearly two-thirds of employment gains accounted for by food services and drinking places.

Manufacturing employment increased by 53,000 jobs in March compared to a 21,000-job gain in February. But which manufacturing industries gained jobs? Let’s take a look at the numbers.

March 2021 Manufacturing Job Gains & Losses by Sector

In March, the U.S. manufacturing sector added 53,000 new positions. This included 30,000 new jobs in durable goods manufacturing and 23,000 new hires in the non-durable goods sector.

In the durable goods sector, gains were overwhelmingly led by the fabricated metals sector, which added 13,700 new jobs. Machinery also added jobs, up by 3,500 positions, as did computer and electronic products, up by 3,100.

This was followed by nonmetallic mineral products, which added 2,900; electrical equipment and supplies, up 2,700 and primary metals, which gained 2,600. All other sectors posted marginal gains, with the exception of the auto industry, which slashed jobs. Transportation equipment fell by 3,000, while motor vehicles and parts cut 1,000 jobs. This is likely attributable to temporary auto plant shutdowns spurred by a global semiconductor shortage,

On the non-durable goods manufacturing side, gains were led by miscellaneous non-durable goods manufacturing, which added 7,40 jobs, followed by printing and related support activities, which added 5,900. Food manufacturing also ramped up hiring, with 3,400 new jobs reported. Chemicals added 3,000 jobs, while textile mills added 2,800.

Marginal losses were seen in petroleum/coal products, which shed 500 jobs and plastics and rubber products, which lost 300.

Further Reading: How Staffing Agencies Can Find Manufacturing Clients

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 start your free demo.


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