A Good December Jobs Report Caps Off a Strong Year for Manufacturing Employment

By Matthew McMullan
Jan 04 2019 |
Just some dude searchin’ the ol’ job search website. | credit: fizkes / Getty Images

284,000 factory jobs added in 2018, according to BLS.

A real healthy jobs report today. Overall, 312,000 jobs were added to the economy in December, which beat expectations – private analysts, NPR reported, were expecting only about 180,000.

Manufacturing has done exceptionally well among individual sectors, adding 32,000 jobs last month. That makes for 284,000 for 2018! That’s a lot!

There was widespread concern as recently as, like, a day ago that the unresolved trade dispute between the United States and China was exacerbating the slowdown in the Chinese consumer market – which could then cause a global market slump to deepen. And that such a slump could begin affecting hiring, as companies batten down the hatches.

Well, markets might be a little shaky, but the American job market for blue-collar work is still doing pretty well. Wages are rising, and the slightly higher unemployment rate suggests that people feel confident enough to leave old jobs and look for new ones.

Anyway, you know the president liked this. He even busted out the caps lock!

That’s nice, he seems to be happy. Hopefully this kind of pleasant surprise will bolster the case for patience during his administration’s negotiations with the Chinese government. Said Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul:

“With 32,000 new jobs last month, tough action against trade cheats is helping create new jobs for American workers.”

Trade enforcement is a good thing for the American manufacturing sector. We hope the president sticks to his guns and doesn’t let the market rattle him in the coming months.