US manufacturing added 15,000 jobs in January with durable goods doing the heavy lifting.
Makers of durable goods increased payrolls by 18,000 jobs, according to a breakdown by industry sector issued today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The non-durable goods sector lost 3000 jobs.
Within durable goods, the major gainers were transportation equipment, up 5700 jobs, and machinery, up 5400. However, one part of the transportation category — motorized vehicle and parts — lost 300 jobs.
Other durable goods categories posting job gains included fabricated metal products (up 3100) and non-metallic mineral products (up 1900). Durable goods categories recording job losses included furniture, down 1300.
The overall manufacturing job gain wasn’t as robust as recent months but still represented a solid gain.
Manufacturing totaled 12.555 million on a seasonally adjusted basis in January. That was an increase from an adjusted 12.54 million in December and 12.369 million in January 2017.
Total non-farm employment rose by 200,000 jobs last month, the bureau said in a statement. That was better than a forecast gain of 180,000 by economists polled by Reuters. The US unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%, the bureau said.
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