The United States added 25,000 manufacturing jobs in December of 2017, primarily in the durable goods sector, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Companies making durable goods, which primarily includes machinery, fabricated metal products, and furniture added 21,000 jobs to their payrolls by the end of the month. The only durable goods category posting a job loss was furniture, which was down 700 jobs.
2017 was a very strong year for manufacturing employment, with 196,000 jobs being added - of which 130,000 were in the durable goods industries. The number is a vast improvement over 2016, which saw a loss of 16,000 jobs.
Manufacturing totaled 12.5 million jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in December, said the Bureau. That's up from 12.3 million in December 2016.
In 2015 and 2016, aerospace and the auto industry were the strongest job performers in manufacturing. During 2017, other industries picked up the pace of job generation.
Construction fared strongly, adding 30,000 jobs in December, with most of the increase among specialty trade contractors (+24,000). In 2017, construction employment increased by 210,000, compared with a gain of 155,000 in 2016. Check out the Bureau's complete chart here.
Manufacturing jobs peaked in June 1979 (19.6 million on a seasonally adjusted basis, 19.7 million unadjusted). That sank to a low of 11.45 million adjusted and 11.34 million unadjusted in February 2010 following the severe 2008 recession.
Since that low, new manufacturing jobs have been created requiring increased skills because of increased automation and technology in factories.
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