Employment in the metals trade rose marginally month on month in January, even as the U.S. manufacturing sector lost more than 60,000 jobs, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Producers and fabricators hired 600 and 3,600 people, respectively, and manufacturing as a whole shed 62,000 jobs, the agency said. Figures are not seasonally adjusted.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 243,000 in January and the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3 percent. Large employment gains were recorded in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, while smaller gains were seen in transportation equipment, motor vehicles and parts.
Seasonally adjusted manufacturing employment is now at 11.9 million, up by 50,000 jobs.
“January recorded the highest monthly gain in factory jobs since August 1998 … a clear sign that American manufacturing can be competitive globally,” Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, said.
However, “there is still a long way to go to get manufacturing jobs and output above pre-recession levels,” he added.