Manufacturing Jobs Declined by 45,000 in 2016; Government Jobs Increased by 183,000--Now Outnumber Manufacturing by 9,948,000

Terence P. Jeffrey | January 6, 2017 | 9:38am EST
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(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

( - Jobs in manufacturing in the United States increased by 17,000 in December—the first post-election month—climbing from 12,258,000 in November to 12,275,000 in December, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Even so, over all of 2016, manufacturing jobs declined by 45,000--dropping from 12,320,000 in December 2015 to 12,275,000 in December 2016.

At the same time, jobs in federal, state and local government increased not only from November to December, but over the course of the entire year.

From November to December, government jobs climbed from from 22,211,000 to 22,223,000, an increase of 12,000.

From December 2015 to December 2016, government jobs climbed from 22,040,000 to 22,223,000--an increase of 183,000.

Last December, government jobs in the United States outnumbered manufacturing jobs by 9,720,000. This December, government jobs outnumbered manufacturing jobs by 9,948,000.

The BLS has published seasonally-adjusted month-by-month employment data for both government and manufacturing going back to January 1939. According to this data, manufacturing employees in the United States of America outnumbered government employees every month for more than half a century. Then, in August 1989, government employees slipped ahead of manufacturing employees for the first time—taking a slim lead of 17,989,000 to 17,964,000.

Since then, government has pulled dramatically ahead of manufacturing as an employer in the United States.

The 22,223,000 who now work for federal, state or local government in this country, according to the BLS, is more than ever worked in manufacturing.

Manufacturing employment peaked in June 1979 at 19,553,000. Since then, manufacturing employment has declined by 7,278,000—or 37.2 percent—to its current level of 12,275,000.

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