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Just as domestic manufacturing took much less of a jobs hit earlier during the CCP Virus period than the rest of the U.S. economy, its July recovery – as revealed in today’s monthly U.S. jobs report – was much slower. And just has been been the case for most of the pandemic era, the monthly change in manufacturing employment was dominated (note that I resisted the temptation to say “driven”) by change in the automotive sector.

U.S.-based industry added 26,000 net new jobs on-month in July – in sharp contrast to the upwardly revised jump of 357,000 for June. The increase in combined motor vehicles and parts employment accounted for more than all of this gain, coming in at 39,000.

One minor bright spot – the overall manufacturing revisions were slightly positive. April’s terrible monthly manufacturing jobs loss was judged to be 1.317 million instead of the previously reported 1.349 million. May’s gain was reduced from 250,000 to 240,000. But June’s new number is an uptick from the originally reported 356,000.

Between February and April, U.S. manufacturing payrolls shrank by 1.363 million, or 10.61 percent. Since then, 623,000 of those jobs have been regained, translating into a net employment increase of 5.42 percent. As a result, industry’s employment as of July was 5.76 percent below February’s levels.

By contrast, between February and April, private sector employment plunged by 16.34 percent. Since then, it’s up by 8.69 percent. As a result, private sector employment as of July was 9.06 percent below February’s levels. That is, its CCP Virus-related jobs deficit is nearly twice as large proportionately as manufacturing’s..

As for the automotive sector, during that February-April stretch, vehicles and parts makers combined shed nearly 355,000 employeees – just over quarter of the manufacturing total (even though in February, such workers represented just 7.77 percent of the total manufacturing workforce). Since then, just under 290,000 of these jobs have come back – more than 46 percent of U.S. manufacturing’s total rebound. Nonetheless, automotive employment remained 7.09 percent below those pre-CCP Virus totals.