Manufacturing employment increased 19,000 in January, starting 2023 with continued growth, according to U.S. Department of Labor data.
Hiring: Hiring in both the durable and nondurable goods sectors rose, and cumulative growth in manufacturing employment in 2021 and 2022 was the best it has been in nearly 40 years.
Earnings: Wages increased, too, with average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers at $25.84 in January, up from $25.64 in December.
Unemployment and participation: The unemployment rate in the sector edged down in January to its lowest level since May 1969.
- While it stayed below pre-pandemic levels, the participation rate increased slightly in January as well.
Rises and falls: The largest increases in manufacturing employment were seen in food manufacturing, miscellaneous nondurable goods, nonmetallic mineral products and apparel.
- Meanwhile, chemical, computer and electronic products and furniture and related products saw declining employment in January.