Manufacturing Hiring and Consumer Confidence Cools in November

According to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Monday Economic Report for this week, manufacturing employment increased by 14,000 in November, slowing from the 36,000 increase in October. Hiring in the durable and nondurable goods sectors rose by 11,000 and 3,000, respectively. Through the first 11 months of 2022, the sector hired 379,000 employees, building on the 365,000 workers added in calendar year 2021 and the most so far of any year since 1994. Currently, the manufacturing sector has 12,934,000 employees, the most since November 2008. 

In November, the largest increases in manufacturing employment occurred in transportation equipment (+6,100, including 1,900 from motor vehicles and parts), chemicals (+4,700), machinery (+3,900) and food manufacturing (+3,400), among others. In contrast, sectors with declining employment in November included plastics and rubber products (-3,200), electrical equipment and appliances (-2,400), paper and paper products (-2,000), primary metals (-1,700) and furniture and related products (-1,500).  

Employment YoY increased in all but three of the major manufacturing sectors. The strongest hiring growth over the past 12 months occurred in the following manufacturing sectors: transportation equipment (+79,600, including 46,100 from motor vehicles and parts), food manufacturing (+58,800), machinery (+49,900), fabricated metal products (+42,700) and chemicals (+40,700).  

Consumer confidence fell for the second straight month, according to the Conference Board, with the headline index dropping from 102.2 in October to 100.2 in November, a four-month low. Americans felt less upbeat in their assessments of both current and future economic conditions, with consumers continuing to be anxious about food and energy inflation and the outlook. Respondents recognized that the labor market remained solid with an expectation of some cooling in employment and incomes.