(NewsNation) — Manufacturing and factory jobs have skyrocketed across the U.S. despite living in an era of high inflation and shortages, new data reflects. More people have joined the manufacturing workforce than in pre-pandemic times.
Manufacturers cut 1.3 million jobs in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. But since then, the most recent jobs report showed that there are almost 13 million people with manufacturing jobs — the most since November 2008. The all-time peak for jobs in manufacturing was back in 1979.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22,000 more people started jobs in manufacturing in August. Close to 300,000 more people were employed so far this year. And 67,000 more people are working in manufacturing than before the pandemic.
A recent McKinsey and Company report found most manufacturing jobs are for cars, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, computers and electronics, machinery, metals, chemicals and transportation production.
Earlier this month Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the recession of the pandemic was unique because consumers wanted more goods rather than services.
The pandemic challenged the global supply chain and, as a result, many businesses are trying to rely less on outsourcing production. But an ongoing worker shortage is still a challenge for the industry.
The National Association of Manufacturers said there were more than 800,000 job openings in July 2022, and predicts that by 2030, more than 2 million jobs will go unfilled if recruiters don’t do more to encourage people to join the industry.