Manufacturing added 37,000 jobs in July, with transportation performing the heavy lifting for the sector.
Transportation boosted payrolls by 13,100 jobs last month, according to a breakdown by sector issued today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Motor vehicles and parts, part of the total transportation figure, added 5,900 jobs.
Manufacturing outperformed the rest of the economy. Total non-farm employment increased by 157,000 jobs in July, according to a bureau statement. That was less than the 190,000 jobs forecast by economists surveyed by Reuters.
Durable goods industries accounted for 32,000 of the total manufacturing job gain. Others industries that added jobs included fabricated machinery (up 5,800 jobs), metal products (up 5,100) and miscellaneous manufacturing (up 3,600).
Industries that posted job losses included wood products and non-metallic mineral products, both down 700.
Manufacturing totaled 12.751 million jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in July. That’s up from an adjusted 12.714 million in June and 12.424 million in July 2017.
Jobless Rate Falls
The U.S. unemployment rate edged down to 3.9% last month, the bureau said in its statement. It was 4% in June.
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.