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Manufacturing Hiring Surges in January: The Sectors Adding Jobs

Posted by IndustrySelect on Friday, February 2, 2024

The latest employment summary from the U.S. Department of Labor finds the U.S. manufacturing sector was on a roll in January, hiring thousands of new workers. Wondering which manufacturing industries gained and lost jobs in January?  In this article, we’ll explore the most recent manufacturing numbers from the Labor Department, providing gains and losses by specific subsector. 


U.S. Manufacturing Job Changes in January 2024

Employment in the U.S. manufacturing sector shot up by 23,000 net jobs in January, according to the latest jobs report from the Labor Department issued February 2nd. This follows a 6,000-job gain reported for the sector in December.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy added 353,000 jobs overall in January, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.7%.

Additionally, the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey finds that while unfilled positions in U.S. manufacturing are still historically high, open positions in the sector continue to decline. The Labor Department recorded 573,000 unfilled positions for the sector in December, up slightly from the 546,000 unfilled positions reported for November, and far below the 800,000+ open positions reported for the sector one year ago.

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The Manufacturing Sectors That Gained Jobs in January 2024

Manufacturing gains in the month of January were led by the nondurable goods sector which added 19,000 overall. Meanwhile, durable goods manufacturing added on another 4,000 new net jobs. Gains were led by the chemicals sector, which added 6,900 workers. This was followed by transportation equipment, which added 5,600; printing and related support activities, which added 5,100 workers, and food manufacturing which added 3,500.

Additional sectors adding jobs included plastics & rubber manufacturing, petroleum and coal products manufacturing; fabricated metal products; and computer & electronic product manufacturing.

The Manufacturing Industries That Lost Jobs in January 2024

Manufacturing losses in the month of January were led by the furniture sector, followed by electrical equipment, paper products, and wood products. 

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Editor's note: This article is updated on the first Friday of every month, based on the latest data released by the Department of Labor.


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