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U.S. Manufacturers Step Up Hiring in May as Job Openings Hit All-Time High

Posted by IndustrySelect on Friday, June 4, 2021

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Even as hiring in the U.S. manufacturing sector bounced back in May, job openings in manufacturing have hit an unprecedented level.

New data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds the U.S. manufacturing sector bounced back from April’s job losses, adding 23,000 jobs in May. Meanwhile, a separate Labor report finds that job openings in the U.S. manufacturing sector has hit an all-time record of 700,000 jobs.

In April, U.S. manufacturing shed 18,000 jobs, even as job openings hovered above the 500,000-job mark. Losses were overwhelmingly led by the automotive sector, which lost 38,000 jobs April. In May, automotive companies recouped these losses, adding 25,000 jobs over the month.

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Meanwhile, employment, employment in the U.S. economy overall increased by a 559,000 jobs, running ahead of the 266,000 the U.S. gained in April.

So what other sectors gained and added jobs? Today, we’re digging into the latest manufacturing numbers from the Labor Department to bring you manufacturing jobs gains and losses by specific subsector. But first we'll take a look at where job openings in manufacturing stand. 

Manufacturing Job Openings Hit All-Time High

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The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover report, released May 11th, finds that the number of job openings in the sector has risen to an all-time record high of 706,000 jobs in March. This represents an increase of 134,000 or 23% over the 572,000 openings for the sector reported in February.

Breaking down the report, job openings durable goods manufacturing for March increased by 67,000 or 22% compared to February. Job openings in durable goods, which include items such as machinery, motor vehicles and computers, now stands at 344,000, an all-time high.

Job openings in non-durable goods hit a record high of 341,000 jobs in March, an increase of 19% over February. Non-durable goods includes industries like food products, paper products, plastics and textile manufacturing. Currently the category accounts for 4.6 million of the nation’s 12.2 million manufacturing jobs.

Amid skyrocketing demand, manufacturers are struggling with a dearth of skilled labor. Even before the pandemic, manufacturers faced a tight labor market and a persistent skills gap. COVID-related workforce issues have now thrown another obstacle into the mix. We'll be checking in on the next JOLTS report for April, due to be released June 8th. 

May 2021 Job Gains in Manufacturing by Subsector

In May, both durable and non-durable goods manufacturing added jobs, with durable goods adding 18,000 jobs and non-durable goods adding 5,000.

In the durable goods sector, motor vehicles and parts added the most jobs (+24,000), suggesting the global semiconductor shortage impacting the industry may be beginning to ease. Other durable goods industries added jobs as well, including fabricated metal products (+3,500 jobs); miscellaneous durable goods (+3,400 jobs) computer & electronic products (+2,800 jobs); electrical equipment & appliances (+2,800); and primary metals (+2,000 jobs).

On the non-durable goods side, miscellaneous non-durable goods manufacturing led gains, up by 4,100 jobs. This was followed by food manufacturing (+2,300 jobs) printing & related support activities (+1,200 jobs); apparel (+800 jobs) and textile mills (+600 jobs).

May 2021 Losses in Manufacturing by Subsector

Amongst durable goods industries, machinery shed the most jobs, down by 4,700. Minor losses were seen in a few additional categories, including non-metallic mineral products (-2,200); miscellaneous computer & electronic products (-300 jobs) and wood products (-100 jobs).

On the non-durable goods side, paper and paper products shed the most jobs (-2,100), followed by chemicals (-1,100 jobs) and textile product mills (-700 jobs).

Helping Manufacturers With Staffing Needs

To get a hands-on look at how an IndustrySelect subscription can help you reach manufacturers, visit our website and try out a free demo. With profiles like these, you'll have all the information you need at your fingertips. 

Powered by MNI’s hand-verified industrial information, IndustrySelect provides instant access to 460,000 industrial business profiles, including one million executives. Types of executive decision-makers include those in Human Resources, Health & Safety, Research & Development and more.

 

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