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Manufacturing Openings Dip but Stay High

Manufacturing job openings fell in August even as they remained high overall, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray laid it out for us.

The manufacturing outlook: “The August report recorded 795,000 manufacturing job openings, down from 910,000 in July but remaining highly elevated,” said Moutray. “Job postings at both durable and nondurable goods firms declined in August.”

  • “Yet, over the past 12 months, job openings in the sector have averaged roughly 860,000, remaining well above pre-pandemic levels.”

Employees wanted: “Manufacturers hired 452,000 workers in August, up from 428,000 in July, with increased activity for both durable and nondurable goods firms,” said Moutray. “Total separations ticked up from 414,000 to 417,000 for the month.”

  • “Therefore, net hiring (or hiring minus separations) totaled 35,000 in August. Overall, net hiring has averaged a solid 31,417 over the past 12 months.”

The big picture: “In the larger economy, nonfarm business job openings dropped from 11,170,000 in July to 10,053,000 in August,” said Moutray. “This suggests that the pace of job openings has begun to cool, with sizable declines in most of the key sectors (including manufacturing) despite continuing to be elevated.”

  • “Meanwhile, there were 6,014,000 unemployed Americans in August, which translated into 59.8 unemployed workers for every 100 job openings in the U.S. economy. There were 50.8 unemployed Americans for every 100 job postings in July, signifying a notable shift for the month, even if there continues to be more job openings than people actively looking for work.”
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