There were 676,000 manufacturing job openings in April, down from 702,000 in March and the smallest number since February 2021. It is still above pre-pandemic levels.

  • In the past 12 months, job openings in the sector have averaged 783,000, though that figure is 741,000 in just the past six months.

Hiring and separations: Manufacturers hired 387,000 workers in April, an increase from March’s two-year low of 373,000.

  • Over the past year, net hiring in the industry has seen a monthly average of 19,250, but in the past six months, that number has dropped to 5,833.
  • Meanwhile, total separations in manufacturing were also at 387,000 in April, down from 394,000 in March.
  • Net hiring—hiring minus separations—was flat in April.

Quits and layoffs: Total quits in manufacturing dipped to 244,000 from 256,000 in March. That’s the lowest level in two-and-a-half years, but it remains elevated.

  • There were 120,000 layoffs in manufacturing in April, an increase from 118,000 in February and the most in nearly three years.

In related news: Manufacturers continued to have had business challenges in May, with the ISM® Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index® dipping to 46.9 from 47.1 in April.

The final word: “Even with the overall labor market remaining solid, the number of job postings in the sector continues to cool, as expected,” said NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray. “Firms continue to cite a high degree of churn in the labor market, even with recent improvements.”