Manufacturing Is a Bright Spot in a Subdued Jobs Report

September 6, 2017 -

Source: New York Times


MACUNGIE, Pa. — At the sprawling Mack Trucks factory here, the last of the workers laid off in 2016 after sales slowed down are back on the line, and for the first time in years, the company is hiring new employees.

The turnabout in the Lehigh Valley, whose shuttered factories inspired Billy Joel’s elegiac 1980s song “Allentown,” was evident more broadly on Friday, when the Labor Department reported that manufacturers nationwide added workers last month at the fastest pace in more than four years.

Hiring in other sectors was more muted, with the economy creating 156,000 jobs, fewer than expected and well off the much bigger employment gains earlier this summer. The unemployment rate edged up slightly to 4.4 percent, while wages barely grew.

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