Factory Employment Stalls in 2023, Only 6,000 Jobs Added in December: AAM Statement

Washington, D.C. — Factories gained 6,000 jobs in December, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. 

Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul said: 

“If you build it, they will come – but it takes time and a whole lot of good policy.

“The weak factory job gains in December show that while there is a genuine factory construction boom underway, we shouldn’t take factory job creation for granted. As a whole, 2023 was a disappointing year for manufacturing employment, with only 12,000 new jobs added.

“Some of this labor market weakness is attributable to consumers rebalancing goods and services spending, and some is attributable to the Federal Reserve’s interest rates hikes and an overly strong dollar. But we are leaving manufacturing jobs on the table because import penetration is still way too high. Some companies may be leaving China, but instead of reshoring, they are shifting production to Vietnam, Mexico, India, and other low-cost countries. And as older factory workers retire, we still don’t have a robust skills and training pipeline in place after decades of neglect to fill those positions right away. Lawmakers and the administration have their work cut out for them this year to make good on the promise of a factory jobs boom.

“Made in America must be more than a talking point.”