US manufacturing added 24,000 jobs in October.
Makers of durable goods did the heavy lifting. The sector boosted employment by 19,000 jobs last month, according to a breakdown by industry sector issued today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Manufacturing has gained 156,000 jobs “since a recent employment low in November 2016,” the bureau said in a statement.
Job gainers in October were led by computer and electronic products (up 4700), fabricated metal products (up 4000) and motorized vehicles and parts (up 3400).
The primary job loser among durable goods categories was machinery, down 1600 jobs.
Manufacturing totaled 12.481 million jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in October. That’s up from an adjusted 12.457 million in September and 12.235 million in October 2016.
Jobless Rate Falls
Total non-farm employment rose by 261,000 jobs last month, the bureau said in the statement. That was below an average forecast of 310,000 by economists surveyed by Reuters. Job growth recovered after hurricanes in August and September disrupted economic activity.
The US unemployment rate fell in October to 4.1%, down from 4.2% the month before.
Manufacturing jobs peaked in June 1979 (19.6 million on a seasonally adjusted basis, 19.7 million unadjusted). That sank to a low of 11.45 million adjusted and 11.34 million unadjusted in February 2010 following a severe recession caused by the 2008 financial crisis.
Since that low, new manufacturing jobs have been created requiring increased skills because of increased automation and technology in factories.