The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that manufacturers added 15,000 workers in January, extending the strong hiring gains in the sector seen throughout much of 2017. Manufacturing employment rose by 15,750 per month on average in 2017. This is a sign that firms have continued to accelerate their hiring as the economic outlook has strengthened and demand and production have improved. The primary concern manufacturers have is the challenges in recruiting new workers. Along those lines, average weekly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees in manufacturing edged up from $884.87 in December to $888.63 in January. That translated into 2.8 percent growth over the past 12 months, which was encouraging.