St. Paul, MN (May 4, 2018) — According to Chad Moutray, Chief Economist for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), U.S. economy adds 164,000 jobs in April, including a “robust” 24,000 manufacturing jobs. Meanwhile, unemployment ticks down to 3.9%.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that manufacturers added 24,000 workers in April, extending the 22,000 gain seen in March. It was the seventh consecutive month with robust growth in hiring in the sector, averaging 26,571 per month over that time frame. As such, the latest jobs numbers confirm that the labor market has tightened significantly, with manufacturers increasing employment by a rather robust 19,000 per month on average since the end of 2016. That is quite a turnaround from the sluggish job growth experienced in 2016, and it is a sign that firms have continued to accelerate their hiring as the economic outlook has strengthened and demand and production have improved considerably.

Today’s report is very encouraging. Strong job growth in April shows that economic confidence remains high in the wake of historic, pro-growth tax reform. Moreover, manufacturers continue to invest, raise wages and hire more workers as they expand their businesses and plan for the future.

Along those lines, average weekly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees in the manufacturing sector rose from $901.39 in March to $907.78 in April. That translated into a whopping 4.2 percent increase over the past 12 months, up from $871.10 in April 2017, which further illustrates the strength of the labor market right now.

Since the end of the Great Recession, manufacturing employment has risen by 1,202,000 workers, with 12,655,000 employees in the sector in this report. That is the highest level of manufacturing employment since December 2008.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent in April and continued to be the lowest level since December 2000. In addition, the so-called “real” unemployment rate, which includes discouraged other “marginally attached” workers, fell from 8.0 percent to 7.8 percent, its lowest level since July 2001.

Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc., located in St. Paul, MN is the U.S. subsidiary of Matsuura Machinery Corporation in Japan. Since 1935, Matsuura has been the forerunner in designing innovative technology and manufacturing solutions to a variety of industries around the globe. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. delivers unmatched excellence in 5-axis, vertical, horizontal, linear motor, multi-tasking CNC machine tools and machines with a powder bed metal AM platform with machining capability. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. provides the service, applications and technical field support that have always been the Matsuura standard for business. For more information on Matsuura products, contact: [email protected] or visit: www.matsuurausa.com.