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Manufacturing Jobs, Factory Orders Rose in March

The number of open manufacturing jobs increased in March, up to 860,000 from a revised 785,000 in February, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were increased postings for both durable and nondurable goods.

The details: Over the past 12 months, manufacturing job postings have averaged nearly 865,000, including a record 943,000 in July.

  • Manufacturers also hired more workers in March, up to 508,000 from February’s 500,000.

Total quits in the manufacturing sector rose to 360,000 in March, a new record, up from 345,000 in February.

  • “That translated into 2.7% of the manufacturing workforce and continued a trend of very significant ‘churn’ in the labor market, exacerbating the workforce difficulties that companies are experiencing,” said NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray. “At the same time, the March survey reported 4,536,000 quits in the nonfarm business economy, up from 4,384,000 in February and also a record pace.”

In related (and good) news: New orders for manufactured goods rose 2.2% from February to March, up to a record $557.3 billion from $545.5 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • Orders of durable and nondurable goods increased 1.1% and 3.2% in the same period, respectively.
  • Motor vehicles and parts orders rebounded with a 3.0% gain for March.
  • Overall, transportation equipment orders rose 0.4%, and excluding transportation equipment, manufacturing orders increased 2.5% to a record $473.4 billion in March from $462.0 billion in February.

The final word: “Despite lingering supply chain, workforce and pricing pressures, the manufacturing sector has proved quite resilient over the past year,” Moutray said. “New factory orders have soared 14.2% year-over-year, or 14.3% with transportation equipment excluded.”

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