Slow, yet steady, may be the manufacturing industry’s most-consistent mantra. Reinforcement comes from the newest Employment Situation Summary that showed another drop in the unemployment rate, down to 3.8 percent as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although most of the growth is coming from the health care, retail trade and construction industries, the manufacturing industry is also retaining a level of stable growth.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the manufacturing industry added 18,000 jobs during the month of May. Most this growth comes from the durable goods sector, goods that are not for immediate consumption. Durable goods can be kept for a period, and many of the items piggyback on a growing consumer desire for products that are produced in the U.S.

Machinery also accounts for manufacturing’s improved numbers with an increase of 6,000 jobs. Overall employment in manufacturing is up 259,000 jobs during this year with three-quarters of the growth coming from the manufacture of durable goods.

Manufacturing Sectors Showing Largest Gains Since 2017

  • Fabricated metal products – 51.3K
  • Machinery – 37.3K
  • Food manufacturing – 33.6K
  • Computer and electronic products – 21.6K
  • Transportation equipment – 19.5K
  • Primary metals – 13.8K
  • Plastics and rubber products – 12.1K
  • Electrical equipment and appliances – 12.0K
  • Miscellaneous nondurable goods manufacturing – 9.8K
  • Chemicals – 9.4K

Making Comparisons

While employment numbers in manufacturing are certainly higher than they were in 2010, the overall industry may not yet be as robust or strong as the media might lead you to believe. In many ways, the industry is still recovering from the lull during 2015 and 2016 caused by weakness in the country’s gas and oil industry, according to a Bloomberg report. One positive aspect of any level of employment growth is that when the manufacturing industry adds jobs there is a greater possibility of the creation of other jobs and income. The better the boom, the more jobs created.

Multiplier Effect of Job Gains

  • Plastic products – 14.4K
  • Breweries, wineries and distilleries – 14.1K
  • Mining and oil and gas field machinery – 13.7K
  • Machine shops – 13.0K
  • Animal slaughtering and processing – 11.1K
  • Other food products – 10.0K
  • Computer and peripheral equipment – 9.7K
  • Bakeries and tortilla manufacturing – 9.6K
  • Construction machinery – 9.3K
  • Electronic computers – 8.8K

North America Jobs

With the decrease in China’s cost advantage there is a continuing positivity that manufacturing in North America will continue to be a viable option because of its’ workforce and corporate partners. At this time though, it is too soon to know if this level of growth will be enough to continue its progression.

This article is brought to you by the edge prep experts at Mutschler Edge Tech/MET. To learn more about our custom edge prep work, contact MET today and speak with our experts about creating an edge-prep solution for you.