The labor market has seen improvement in the last couple of months. Job gains have exceeded expectations. One area that has seen growth has been the manufacturing area. Although numbers do not compare to levels of the past, it is still good news for the economy.
Manufacturing companies have added jobs in two consecutive years. Until last year, there had not been a single year when manufacturing employment rose since 1997. Institute for Supply Management has been surveying American manufacturers since 1948 and recently reported that its employment index for December was 55.1, the highest reading since June. Any number above 50 indicates that more companies say they are hiring than say they are reducing employment.