The manufacturing sector grew by 31,000 jobs in November, according to the latest employment data from the Labor Department. With 171,000 total factory jobs created so far this year, the economy is now on pace to add the most manufacturing jobs in a year since 2014, when 208,000 jobs were created.
The job gains come after a disappointing month for the U.S. trade deficit, which hit $48.7 billion, its highest rate since January. Meanwhile, steel imports are up during the same time period.
Said Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul:
A healthy boost in manufacturing jobs is something to cheer about.
Now imagine the possibilities if we had better public policies to support manufacturing: Reciprocal trade, investments in infrastructure, workforce development, and strong R&D.
I've made the case that automation and robots won't destroy all that many factory jobs, but bad policies will. I hope the million-plus manufacturing jobs added since 2010 make that case even more persuasive.