Manufacturing hiring drives job growth  In April, the U.S. labor market added 244,00 jobs, beating economists' expectation of 175,000 new jobs. The manufacturing sector added jobs for the sixth straight month - its longest straight streak since 1998.

Manufacturing has been one of the bright spots in the nascent U.S. economic recovery. Since the depths of the recession, the sector has recovered to boost productivity and drive the uptick in U.S. exports. In the past 13 months, manufacturers in the U.S. have added a net surplus of workers 11 times, showing the strength of the industry, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Manufacturing employment, in fact, is up 1.9 percent from a year earlier. According to the Labor Department, that figure serves as the biggest year-to-year percent change in hiring activity in the sector in 13 years. Following its December 2009 low, U.S. manufacturers have added 250,000 jobs.

What's more, the uptick in manufacturing employment is different from the success of other industries, which have hired a high number of temporary workers. Manufacturing workers are getting 3.3 hours of overtime per week, and production workers are getting 41.4 hours of work per week, which is typical of an economic expansion, economists assert.

Still, though the sector has made great strides over the past two years, overall manufacturing employment is down 32 percent from 2000. 
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