Under President Trump, U.S. manufacturers posted their best year in two decades, the government reported Friday.
The manufacturing industry created a net 284,000 jobs in 2018, its best performance since 1997. The Labor Department said manufacturers added 32,000 jobs in December.
Most of those new jobs were in durable goods such as fabricated metals and electronics.
Mr. Trump has made job growth in manufacturing a priority. In 2017, factories added 207,000 jobs, for a two-year total of 491,000.
“Manufacturers are bringing people back into the workforce, and we need this trend to continue,” said Chad Moutray, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers. “Our industry currently faces a workforce crisis with more than half a million open jobs today, and 2.4 million jobs expected to go unfilled over the next decade. Closing the skills gap continues to be the top challenge facing manufacturers in the United States and is absolutely essential to ensuring that the sector continues to grow.”
Vice President Mike Pence noted on Twitter that the 284,000 new manufacturing jobs in 2018 are “the MOST new manufacturing jobs in a single year since 1997!”
“PROMISES MADE! PROMISES KEPT!” he tweeted.
The president has emphasized policies to promote manufacturing growth and criticized his predecessor, President Barack Obama, for saying that lost manufacturing jobs couldn’t be brought back.
Employers added 60,000 manufacturing jobs in 2015-2016, including a net loss of 9,000 jobs in 2016.