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Manufacturing Employment Holds Steady

Manufacturing employment was little changed from February to March, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What’s going on: Manufacturing had a seasonally adjusted total of 12,956,000 workers in March, the same number it had in February.

  • March’s number rose slightly from a year earlier, in March 2023, when the sector employed 12,932,000 people.
  • Employment was essentially flat from February to March in sectors across the industry and at both durable and nondurable goods manufacturers.

The workweek: Manufacturing’s average workweek remained at 40 hours in March, and overtime inched down by 0.1 hour to 2.9 hours.

  • The average workweek for nonfarm, nonsupervisory production manufacturing employees, however, edged up by 0.1 hour to 33.9 hours.

The bigger picture: In the larger economy, employment rose 303,000 in March, and unemployment stayed about the same, at 3.8%.

  • Job gains occurred primarily in health care, government and construction.
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