Manufacturing Adds 6,000 Jobs--Reaching New 8-Year High; Government Adds 17,000

By Terence P. Jeffrey | May 5, 2017 | 9:17am EDT
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( - The United States added 17,000 jobs in government in the last month, with the number of people employed by local, state or federal government climbing from 22,323,000 in March to 22,340,000 in April, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistic.

At the same time, the United States added only 6,000 jobs in manufacturing, with the number of people employed in that sector rising from 12,390,000 in March to 12,396,000 in April.

That means that government jobs outnumbered manufacturing jobs by 9,944,000 in April.

Nonetheless, the 12,396,000 employed in manufacturing in April was the highest number employed in manufacturing in more than 8 years. The last time more than 12,396,000 were employed in manufacturing in the United States was January 2009, the month that Barack Obama was inaugurated as president. That month there were 12,561,000 employed in manufacturing. But in the next month, February 2009, manufacturing employment dropped to 12,380,000.

The 22,340,000 employed in government in the United States in April was the highest number since August 2010, when there were 22,420,000 employed in government.

The number of manufacturing jobs in the United States peaked in June 1979 at 19,553,000. Since then, it has declined by 7,157,000 to the 12,396,000 reported for this April, according to the BLS numbers.

During the same time frame—from June 1979 to April 2017—the number of government jobs grew from 16,045,000 to the current 22,340,000, an increase of 6,295,000.

The BLS published government and manufacturing numbers each month as part of its employment survey of establishments. In the first two months after each survey the BLS considers the numbers “preliminary” rather than final.

“[I]n the establishment survey,” BLS says, “estimates for the most recent 2 months are based on incomplete returns; for this reason, these estimates are labeled preliminary in the tables. It is only after two successive revisions to a monthly estimate, when nearly all sample reports have been received, that the estimate is considered final.”

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