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Which Manufacturing Industries Added Jobs in July?

Posted by IndustrySelect on Friday, August 7, 2020


New data released by the Bureau of Labor statistics shows the U.S. added 1.8 million jobs in July, while the unemployment rate fell to 10.2% from June’s 11.1%.

This is compared to a 4.8 million jobs added in June 2020, which was nearly double the number added in May.

The U.S. manufacturing sector added jobs but at a far slower rate than in previous months. The Department of Labor reports the sector added 26,000 positions in July, a far cry from the staggering 356,000 jobs it added in June (or the 225,000 gained in May).

Manufacturing employment in the U.S. faces a long road to recovery, with more than 700,000 jobs needed to return to pre-pandemic levels.

This is in keeping with the Institute for Supply Management’s report on manufacturing activity for the month of July, which found that although activity is in expansion overall, with production and new orders soaring, employment is lagging behind.

Many firms responding to the survey noted they are putting off hiring due to uncertainty or laying off employees. You can read more on that report here.

This also accompanies Another Labor Department report out in July which found there are still 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 July.

July 2020 Manufacturing Job Gains by Sector

Manufacturing currently accounts for 12,112,000 jobs, or roughly 9% of total U.S. non-farm employment.

In July, slightly more industrial subsectors reported losses in employment compared to June.

July 2020 gains were mostly led by the transportation equipment industry, with transportation equipment adding 33,200 jobs and motor vehicles and parts adding 39,000 jobs. This was followed by 7,300 jobs added in food manufacturing.

The non-durable goods category fared somewhat better than durable goods, with apparel and paper products losing 2,200 and 2,300 jobs. respectively.

July 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.

July was somewhat the reverse of that, however, with losses, albeit minor, reported across a wide swath of sectors.

The durable goods category was particularly affected, with fabricated metal products shedding 11,400 jobs, while machinery lost 6,700 jobs.

Computer and electronic products edged down by 6,400 workers, while electrical equipment lost 4,500.

Most other durable goods sectors experienced negligible losses or gains.

The non-durable goods category saw chemicals shed 4,500 jobs while textile mills lost 3,100.

Job Openings in Manufacturing

The Department of Labor’s latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS),survey reported in July that there were 328,000 open positions in manufacturing as of May 2020.

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, job openings hit a high of 515,000 in June of 2019. A variety of factors have been contributing to the swell in job openings, including a tight labor market and a persistent skills gap, with more manufacturers in need of workers with the skills needed for advanced manufacturing.

The COVID-19 outbreak is likely to generate new workforce needs for some manufacturers. For those companies that do need more workers, some may be requiring new skillsets as they retool to make new products or implement new technology.

Staffing and workforce development agencies are currently at the ready to help more as more manufacturers seek to fill open positions and may find their services are more in demand.

Employment staffing agencies, in fact, added 149,000 jobs in July, while temporary staffing services added 143,700 jobs, 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, IndustrySelect provides instant access to 500,000 industrial business profiles, including one million executives.

Build a powerful list of prospects by drilling down to only the data you need using 30 different criteria. Sort by industry, geography, and company size and more. An executive function search helps you find appropriate contacts, 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, visit our website and try out a free demo.



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