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U.S. Manufacturing Hiring Gains Strength in June While 328,000 Positions Go Unfilled

Posted by IndustrySelect on Thursday, July 9, 2020


New data released by the Bureau of Labor statistics shows the U.S. added 4.8 million jobs in June 2020, nearly double the number added in May.

The unemployment rate fell to 11.1% after spiking to a record high of 14.70% in April.

The U.S. manufacturing sector recovered another 356,000 jobs in June, adding to the 225,000 industrial positions the sector gained in May.

Despite the increased hiring, manufacturing employment still faces a long road to recovery, with 757,000 more jobs needed to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Another Labor Department report out this week found there are hundreds of thousands of new job openings in manufacturing.

We’ll dig into that in a minute, but first we’ll explore where the job gains were in June.

June 2020 Manufacturing Job Gains by Sector

Manufacturing currently accounts for 12,095,000 jobs, or roughly 9% of total U.S. non-farm employment.

In June, some wild upward swings were seen in certain sectors, while others remained fairly steady.

June 2020 gains were mostly led by the transportation equipment industry, with motor vehicles and parts adding 195,000 jobs.

This was followed by miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing, which shot up 25.5%.

Plastics and rubber products also posted gains, adding 21,000 jobs, while machinery was closely behind with 17,000 new jobs.

Furniture/fixtures fared well, adding 12,000 positions and fabricated metal products increased by 11,000 jobs.

June 2020 Manufacturing Job Losses by Sector

A hopeful aspect to June’s labor report on manufacturing was the fact that just one sector posted a loss in jobs.

Petroleum and coal products ranked as the report’s sole loser, down by 1,500 jobs.

Other sectors remained fairly steady or posted modest gains. Apparel added 8,600 jobs; food processing gained 7,600 jobs; and computer and electronic manufacturing added 7,300.

Job Openings in Manufacturing Edge Up

Another hopeful report out this week found that job openings in manufacturing are on the rise.

The Department of Labor’s latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) survey reported 328,000 open positions in manufacturing for the month of May.

This is up slightly from the 315,000 open positions reported for the month of April and 310,000 in March, but down significantly from the 482,000 job openings reported a year ago.

Prior to coronavirus, manufacturers were already struggling to fill open positions, with job openings in the sector hitting a high of 515,000 in June of 2019.

A variety of factors played into this, including a tight labor market and a persistent skills gap among.

Now, as more industrial companies begin to reopen, the manufacturing labor shortfall is expected to persist.

Finding workers with the skills needed for advanced manufacturing was already a growing challenge for industrial companies, while the COVID-19 outbreak required many companies to change overnight. Some may be requiring new skillsets from their workers as they pivot to make new products or implement more automation technologies. Some are struggling to recall employees back to the workplace as coronavirus fears persist.

This is likely to have a beneficial impact on other industries like staffing and workforce development agencies as more manufacturers seek to fill open positions.

Employment in temporary staffing agencies, in fact, rose 5% in the past month, according to the most recent labor report.

Help Fill the Staffing Gap in Manufacturing

If you’re looking to help manufacturers with their staffing and workforce needs, an IndustrySelect subscription can help you find new customers in the industrial world.

Powered by MNI’s hand-verified industrial information, an IndustrySelect subscription gives you access to 500,000 industrial businesses and one million executives.

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Sort by industry, geography, and company size and more. An executive function search helps you find the contacts you need, such as professionals in Human Resources, Health & Safety, Research & Development and more.

To get a hands-on look at how an IndustrySelect subscription can help you reach new customers, try out a free demo.

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