The latest jobs report shows the U.S. created another 22,000 factory jobs in September 2022.
Though this gain is slightly smaller than in prior months, manufacturing has presented continued growth throughout the year, gaining an average of 36,000 new jobs per month. As one journalist put it, “Made in America is back.” We are certainly getting there.
Why Manufacturing Jobs Are on the Rise
Today’s manufacturing job growth outpaces the job losses that came with the Great Recession, showing that America is rapidly becoming a leader in manufacturing again.
Since April, employment in the industry has increased at a nearly 4% rate, the fastest sustained growth rate since 1984. There are multiple reasons for this.
Over the past few years, supply chain issues throughout the global economy caused many companies to seek manufacturing at home rather than overseas. Demand for domestic manufacturing, along with favorable government policies, is creating massive job growth.
For example, the recent Chips and Science Act invested billions into the domestic manufacture of semiconductors. With that investment, companies like Micron are investing in new manufacturing facilities, like their newest plant in Boise, which will create an additional 17,000 jobs over the next decade.
Recent investments in clean energy and electric vehicle supply will also support more U.S factory jobs. Take First Solar, which recently announced a new factory in the Southeastern U.S. and an expansion of its current Ohio facility. Together, this growth will create an estimated 15,000 jobs by 2025.
Honda, Toyota, and other vehicle manufacturers are also jumping on the trend.
Honda is connecting with LG Energy Solutions in a $4.4 billion joint venture to bring lithium-ion battery manufacturing to the U.S. Meanwhile, Toyota is investing billions into North American battery creation. Together, ventures like this will continue to feed factory job growth.
Threats to Factory Jobs
A strong dollar and the Federal Reserve’s continued resolve to raise interest rates seem threatening to the U.S. job market. The Federal Reserve would indeed like to see lower job numbers, suggesting a loosening of the labor market.
However, increased American manufacturing could also help with the Federal Reserve’s ultimate goal to lower inflation. As American factory jobs increase and more items are American-made, stress on the supply chain will decrease, helping to reduce inflated costs.
So, though the Federal Reserve’s actions threaten the job market overall, it’s not improbable that American factory jobs will continue to increase. This is especially true when the government is pushing favorable policies and spending toward domestic industry. And Biden’s administration is doing exactly that.
The growth in U.S factory jobs may appear to be slowing, but it is unlikely to make a U-turn. America is bringing manufacturing back to its shores thanks to consumer demand and favorable government policy.
Bringing “Made in America” back means continued job growth in the industry over the next decade. Employment in manufacturing has increased by 500,000 jobs this year alone, and though the rush for factory jobs may slow, it’s unlikely to halt.