U.S. Manufacturing Employment is Rising, Not Falling: BLS

One of the pillars of the successful presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump was his contention that U.S. manufacturing jobs were moved overseas in recent years, hollowing out American cities such as Detroit and harming the wages and livelihoods of American families. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reminded us Feb. 1 that manufacturing jobs have fallen during the past quarter century -- but from 2011 to 2016, they increased.

Citing preliminary data from the Current Employment Statistics program, data that are not seasonally adjusted, BLS said manufacturing industries that experienced more than 10 percent increases in employment from 2011 to 2016 were miscellaneous nondurable goods (25.4 percent), transportation equipment (16.4 percent), wood products (13.7 percent), and furniture and related products (10.0 percent).

The opposite case was apparel manufacturing -- something the number of apparel retailers going under in recent months might have told us. Apparel manufacturing employment dropped by 12.8 percent during 2011-2016, making it the only manufacturing industry with a drop of more than 10 percent. And during the past 25 years, apparel manufacturing employment has plummeted 85 percent and employment in textile mills has dropped 76 percent.

With most manufacturing industries experiencing gains in employment, U.S. manufacturing jobs rose from 11.7 million in 2011 to 12.3 million in 2016.

Jerry Laws is the editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

Posted on Feb 01, 2017