The American manufacturing industry is starting the New Year off on the right foot. Recent data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows strong improvements in the sector’s employment and wage numbers.
According to the BLS, the American manufacturing industry added roughly 25,000 new job in December, surpassing analysts’ forecasts while signaling growth and expansion in the process. Of course, the manufacturing industry wasn’t the only sector to fare well for December. In its report, the BLS says that employers in all industries added 148,000 new jobs. Combined with a low unemployment rate of just 4.1%, analysts say the American economy and job market is looking strong for 2018.
It’s also worth mentioning that employment wages have increased over the past year. The average U.S. worker, for instance, earned 2.5% more in December 2016 than what he or she earned in December 2015.
When speaking about the low unemployment rate, Jeremy Schwartz explained that a slowdown will likely occur sometime in the near future. “It’s a little soft across the board but overall, when you’re this close to full employment, I think it’s reasonable to see some slowdown in job gains,” said Jeremy Schwartz, a U.S. economist at Credit Suisse in New York. “This year we should probably expect to see some slowdowns in job gains — it’s just harder to add jobs when there’s a smaller pool to choose from.”
However, American Manufacturing President Scott Paul says manufacturing jobs are growing faster than jobs in other industries, and the question many manufacturing companies are asking is how to maintain this momentum. With numbers such as these, manufacturing companies want to stay on track by sustaining job growth and employment.
There are other reasons to celebrate the American job market in 2018. Aside from the strong job growth cited above, numerous states are expected to increase their minimum wage for employees. The federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour. As explained by Inc., however, 18 states have currently opted to increase their minimum wage to more than $10 per hour — a substantial increase that’s sure to have a positive effect on the average worker’s paycheck.
Based on these findings, it’s safe to assume that the country’s manufacturing industry, as well as other sectors, are starting the year off on the right foot. Just last month, manufacturing companies added 25,000 new jobs. Combined with a low unemployment rate and increasing minimum wage, most analysts are optimistic about the future of the American manufacturing industry.