Manufacturing added 3,000 jobs in August, with durable goods breaking even.
Non-durable goods accounted for the entire net manufacturing job gain, according to a breakdown by industry issued today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Within durable goods, various industries posted either small job gains or losses. Computer and electronic products added 2,300 jobs and non-metallic mineral products added 1,200. Machinery and fabricated metal products each lost 1,700 jobs.
Other durable goods categories were up or down fewer than 1,000 jobs, including transportation equipment, which added 700.
Manufacturing totaled 12.853 million jobs in August on a seasonally adjusted basis. That’s up from an adjusted 12.85 million in July and 12.715 million in August 2018.
This year has seen erratic manufacturing job performance, strong some months, weak during others. Based on the figures released today, manufacturing boosted employment by 44,000 jobs during the first eight months of 2019, compared with 170,000 for the same period last year.
In manufacturing, the average workweek increased by 0.2 hours to 40.6 hours, the bureau said in a statement.
Jobless Rate Unchanged
Total non-farm employment rose by 130,000 jobs in August, the bureau said. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast a gain of 158,000 jobs. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent.
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.