Ever since American manufacturing entered a long stretch of automation and outsourcing in the late 1970s, every recession has led to the loss of factory jobs that never returned. But the recovery from the pandemic recession has been different: American manufacturers have now added enough jobs to regain all that they shed — and then some. American manufacturers cut roughly 1.36 million jobs from February 2020 to that April, as COVID-19 shut down much of the economy. As of last month, manufacturers had added back about 1.43 million jobs, a net gain of 67,000 workers above pre-pandemic levels.
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