There’s been a loss of momentum in the U.S. manufacturing sector. After surprisingly strong hiring in manufacturing during 2018, the pace of growth has been fading. Annual job growth in that industry peaked at nearly 300,000 jobs in July 2018. In the year-ending August 2019, the manufacturing industry added about half that peak level, with just 133,000 jobs added. While annual job production in that sector is still above the levels recorded from late 2015 through mid-2017, it registered below the average of 146,000 jobs added annually since late 2010. The most dramatic drop-offs in hiring were seen in the durable goods sector, particularly fabricated metal products, machinery and transportation equipment. Economists blame the slowdown in manufacturing employment on trade wars and slowing global growth.
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