According to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Monday Economic Report for this week, consumer confidence declined from 111.6 in October to 109.5 in November, the lowest since February, according to the Conference Board. Americans felt somewhat less upbeat about the current and future economy, with more consumers worried about inflation. In addition, respondents felt less willing to make purchases and travel, but the Conference Board continues to expect strong sales over the holiday season and into 2022. This survey, however, was taken before the current concerns about the omicron variant. Manufacturing employment rose by 31,000 in November, slowing from the gain of 48,000 in October. In November, durable and nondurable goods employment increased by 15,000 and 16,000, respectively. Total employment in the sector has risen 315,000 YTD in 2021 – on track for the best annual job growth since 1994 (402,000). With that said, there remained 253,000 fewer manufacturing employees relative to pre-pandemic levels, with 12,799,000 workers in the sector in February 2020. Six major manufacturing sectors have exceeded their pre-pandemic levels of employment as of November: miscellaneous durable goods (+19,000), miscellaneous nondurable goods (+18,000), plastics and rubber products (+10,000), computer and electronic products (+9,000), chemicals (+8,000) and wood products (+3,000).