Manufacturing jobs increase thanks to durable goods

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Manufacturing employment rose in September, with durable goods doing the bulk of the work, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Manufacturing added 22,000 jobs last month, with durable goods accounting for 16,000, according to an industry breakdown released by the bureau.

Within durable goods, the largest increase came from motor vehicles and parts, representing a gain of 8,300 jobs.

Employment in the automotive industry has had its ups and downs. The industry still faces a shortage of semiconductors. The shortage of chips has sometimes forced temporary plant closures. Overall demand for pickup trucks and SUVs remained strong.

Other industries that posted job gains included metal products, up 6,300 jobs, and wood products, up 2,200. Industries with job losses included machinery, decrease of 1,700 jobs.

Manufacturing totaled 12.88 million in September on a seasonally adjusted basis. That figure was up from an adjusted 12.858 million in August and 12.413 million in September 2021. Manufacturing has added an average of 36,000 jobs per month so far in 2022, the bureau said in a statement.

Total non-farm employment increased by 263,000 jobs in September, the bureau said. The US unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.5% from 3.7% the previous month.

The Federal Reserve raises interest rates to cool the economy and fight inflation. So far, this has not increased the unemployment rate. The Institute for Supply Management said earlier this week that its manufacturing index shows manufacturing growing at a slower pace. This could turn into an economic contraction in the coming months, the ISM said.

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