U.S. Lost 29,000 Manufacturing Jobs in March—But Gained in Retail, Food Services and Drinking Places

By Terence P. Jeffrey | April 1, 2016 | 10:59 AM EDT

(AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

(CNSNews.com) - The United States lost 29,000 manufacturing jobs in March while gaining jobs in retail trade, food services and drinking establishments, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

During the month, jobs in the retail industry in the United States outnumbered jobs in manufacturing by 3,651,100.

In February, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the manufacturing sector was 12,320,000. In March, that dropped to 12,291,000.

“Employment in manufacturing declined by 29,000 in March,” said the BLS’ monthly release on the national employment situation. “Most of the job losses occurred in durable goods industries (-24,000), including machinery (-7,000), primary metals (-3,000) and semiconductors and electronic components (-3,000).”

Meanwhile, according to the BLS’s seasonally adjusted numbers, employment in retail trade climbed from 15,894,400 in February to 15,942,100 in March—an increase of 47,700.

Employment in food services and drinking places climbed from 11,282,800 in February to 11,307,600 in March—and increase of 24,800.

The number of manufacturing jobs in the United States, according to the BLS’s seasonally adjusted historical numbers, peaked in June 1979 at 19,553,000. Since then, manufacturing jobs in the United States have dropped by 7,262,000 (to the 12,291,000 reported for this March).

In June 1979, when manufacturing jobs were at their peak of 19,553,000, there were 10,165,100 jobs in retail trade in the United States. At that point, manufacturing jobs outnumbered retail jobs in America by 9,387,900.

The 15,942,100 retail jobs in the United States this March outnumbered the 12,291,000 manufacturing jobs by 3,651,100.

According to the BLS’s seasonally adjusted numbers, employment in the retail trade industry in the United States first overtook employment in manufacturing in December 2002. In November 2002, there were 14,992,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States and 14,970,400 jobs in retail. In December 2002, the manufacturing jobs dropped to 14,912,000 and the retail jobs increased to 14,979,800.