Job openings in the manufacturing sector grew in July for the second month in a row, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Postings in the sector jumped from 361,000 in June to 379,000 in July, even as openings remained below April’s all-time high of 397,000. The increase in job openings stemmed from a pickup in activity for durable goods firms (up from 200,000 to 227,000); whereas, postings for nondurable goods entities (down from 160,000 to 152,000) declined for the third straight month.
Net hiring was also encouraging, with positive growth for the second consecutive month following four straight months of net declines. This was true in July despite declines in both hiring (down from 281,000 to 274,000) and separations (down from 264,000 to 258,000). Hiring increased for durable goods firms (up from 161,000 to 167,000), but this was offset by reduced hiring among nondurable goods manufacturers (down from 119,000 to 106,000). At the same time, total separations – which include quits, layoffs and retirements – fell to a 12-month low. Overall, net hiring (or hiring minus separations) equaled 16,000 in July, off slightly from 17,000 in June. Read the full report.