Washington, D.C. – Manufacturing gained 15,000 jobs in February, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. The bulk of February's gain was in durable goods.
Meanwhile, new trade data shows the goods deficit with China hit $23.7 billion in January, a decrease of $2.1 billion.
Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul said:
"It's good to see manufacturing jobs rebound from a bad start to the year. I'm concerned about what lies ahead with the uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus, as well as China's ability to honor some of the commitments it made in January.
I'm deeply worried that manufacturing has been consistently underperforming the rest of the economy for a solid year now. Since February 2019, manufacturing has added only 31,000 jobs in an economy that has generated 2.5 million new jobs.
There are steps policymakers can take to strengthen the outlook for manufacturing. First, keep pressing China to honor its 'Phase 1' commitments and get quickly to a more meaningful 'Phase 2.' Second, invest in infrastructure now. There's never been a better time to borrow this money. We will need public spending will to fill in when the private sector pumps the brakes in the months ahead."