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This morning’s official U.S. jobs report, for December, shows that, to paraphrase that unforgettable battery ad slogan, domestic manufacturing just keeps hiring and hiring and….

As a result, the December data also add to the already compelling case that domestic industry’s continued resilience – including an ongoing hiring out-performance – owes significantly to the Trump tariffs that have prevented imports from China from flooding U.S. markets and massively depriving Made in America products of customers as they had before his presidency.

The nation’s manufacturers boosted their payrolls by 38,000 on month in December, even as the private sector shed 95,000 jobs and government at all levels lost 45,000.

Moreover, in line with the strong overall employment revisions for October and November, industry’s previously reported 33,000 hiring improvement for the former (which had already been downgraded from 38,000) is now judged to be 43,000. And November’s figure has been upgraded from 27,000 to 35,000.

Although this performance pales compared with the 333,000 jobs added in manufacturing in June, the sector continues to punch above its employment weight, and in fact has now won back a status it apparently had lost in the fall.

As of December, U.S.-based industry had regained 60.16 percent (820,000) of the 1.363 million jobs it had lost during the worst (so far) of the pandemic-induced downturn in March and April.

That’s slightly ahead of the total private sector, which has recovered 59.91 percent (12.696 million) of its 21.191 million drop last spring.

And its considerably ahead of the overall economy’s record. Non-farm payrolls (the definition of the American employment universe used by the Labor Department, which issues these jobs reports) have risen by 12.321 million since April, a bounceback reprsenting only 55.60 percent of their 22.160 million plunge that month and in March.

The big reason is the slump in government jobs at all levels, and especially in states and localities. Public sector employment sank by 45,000 sequentially in December and by 81,000 the month before. And the outlook for public sector employment remains clouded by the brightening (due to the nearly final 2020 election results) but still uncertain prospects for a federal bailout of state and local governments, whose December monthly job losses totaled 49,000. (The federal government actually added positions.)

Manufacturing’s biggest monthly employment winners in December were plastics and rubber products (up 6,900), the automotive sector (6,700), non-metallic mineral products (6,100), food manufacturing (5,500), and apparel (4,000).

Especially encouraging were the 2,800 jobs created by domestic machinery makers, since the equipment they make is so widely used throughout the rest of manufacturing and elsewhere in the economy. November’s on-month machinery jobs gains were revised up from 1,900 to 2,500, but October’s totals were revised down for a second time, from 3,000 to 2,700.

December’s biggest manufacturing job losers were miscellaneous non-durable goods (down 11,200 sequentially) and primary metals (down 2,100).

Also on the encouraging side: Better progress has been made in job-creation for the CCP Virus-related medical manufacturing categories. These only go through November, but they show that the the broad pharmaceuticals and medicines sector added 1,000 new jobs that month, and its October figure was upgraded all the way from 100 to 1,100.

In addition, the sub-sector containing vaccines increased payrolls in December by 1,100, and its October performance was revised up from 600 to 1,100.

But in the manufacturing category containing PPE goods like face masks, gloves, and medical gowns, along with cotton swabs, the previously reported October employment increase stayed unreivsed at 400, and the November growth was only 500.

These results, however, still mean that the PPE category’s job gains since February have been much stronger (7.85 percent) than those of the vaccines category (a disappointing 2.82 percent) and of the broader pharmaceuticals industry (an even weaker 1.40 percent).

Finally, other than the prospect of a vaccine-related return to normal in the U.S. and global economies (for domestic manufacturing is a big exporters), the biggest reason for further manufacturing employment optimism concerns the aerospace sector. It’s been pummeled by both the pandemic-induced nosedive in air travel around the world, and by Boeing’s safety woes.

The U.S. aerospace giant isn’t out of the woods yet. Its troubled 737 Max model has now been recertified by the federal government as safe to return to flight, but new production-related problems have cropped up, too. Moreover, who can say with any confidence when “normal,” or enough of it to help, Boeing, returns?

Yet assuming some substantial Boeing recovery in the foreseeable future, a major restart of its own manufacturing could give a big boost to domestic industry as a whole, given its many and long domestic supply chains.