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Manufacturers have been adding 20,000 to 30,000 jobs per month since the summer of 2017. But that upward trend took a pause in August, with a 3,000 jobs decline in manufacturing. It could be a one-month blip, but there are other signs that manufacturing could be poised for a slowdown. The strong dollar is making U.S. exports more expensive abroad. Escalating trade tensions and retaliatory tariffs imposed by U.S. trading partners could further hurt overseas demand for goods made in the USA. Meanwhile, labor supply is increasingly tight, and many manufacturers complain they can’t find qualified applicants to hire.
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