Workers build bed frames at the Hollywood Bed Frame Company factory in Commerce, California. Photo: Reuters/Robyn Beck

As we observed in the case of the employment report, the bright spot in an otherwise modest gain in employment was manufacturing.  The 30-year US Treasury bond was flat after the employment report, but fell more than a point in price, mostly after the PMI release.

One additional job in manufacturing adds a lot more to GDP than one additional job in fast food or health care. General Motors has $764,000 in sales per employee, vs $58,000 for McDonald’s. Manufacturing may be a small part of GDP, but an increase in manufacturing employment growth adds perhaps ten times more to overall sales than an equivalent increase in fast-food or retail employment.

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