The U.S. manufacturing sector is experiencing a slow but steady recovery throughout 2017, in stark contrast to the significant losses seen in 2016. As noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Summary, August 2017 saw 36,000 manufacturing jobs added, well ahead of nearly all other sectors.
According to The New York Times, last month's gains constitute the fastest-paced manufacturing job growth seen in the last four years. Additionally, on a broader scale, companies in this sector have, since 2010, regained about half of the 2 million jobs lost during the Great Recession.
Vehicle manufacturing has played a notable role in these job gains. For example, the Times reported that companies such as Mack Trucks, based in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania - an area long known for economic stress - are producing truck cabs and components at a greater rate due to increased demand.
As a result, Mack had to hire new workers for the first time in several years. Automation, generally considered an impediment to wage growth and a major factor in the automotive sector, has not affected Mack in any negative way.
"We build fleets one at a time," said Jonathan Randall, Mack's senior vice president for North American sales. "It takes skilled human beings to do that."