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Manufacturing Employment Increases Slightly

Manufacturing employment inched up slightly in May, while the overall economy added more jobs than expected (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and CBS News).

The situation in manufacturing: There were a seasonally adjusted 12,965,000 manufacturing jobs in the U.S. in May, up just slightly from April’s 12,957,000.

  • Durable goods manufacturing lost 2,000 employees for the month, while nondurable goods manufacturing gained 10,000.
  • In durable goods, wood product manufacturing saw the biggest increase, adding 1,200 workers in May. Nondurable saw its largest increase in chemical manufacturing, with the addition of 4,100 employees.

… And overall: In the broader economy, “[n]onfarm payrolls rose by 272,000 jobs last month, exceeding forecasts of 180,000. Downward revisions had 15,000 fewer jobs than previously reported in March and April combined.

  • The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 4%, its highest since January 2022.

What it means: “While exceeding forecasts, the report is not out of line with the narrative of an economy coming in for a ‘soft landing,’ rather than plunging toward a recession.”

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