Manufacturing hiring was up again, this time by 19,000 persons. The gain was led by a 6,700 person gain in fabricated metal products and a 5,500 gain in miscellaneous nondurable goods. Other notable gains were in transportation equipment (+4,100) and food (+3,700).

This sector will be getting extra scrutiny in the months ahead as analysts look for evidence of the effects of the tariff war. The initial focus will be on whether tariffs abroad are reducing the demand for our goods, and hence having a potential adverse impact on production and employment. But, at the same time, analysts will be looking for evidence of whether the tariffs here have affected demand at home by shifting away from imports, thus having a favorable effect of production and employment.

Stay tuned.

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