As American manufacturers champion their contributions to economic competitiveness and product innovation today, the industry has yet another reason to celebrate – U.S. manufacturing employment is still on the rise. Marking National Manufacturing Day (Friday, October 5th), the latest U.S. job numbers once again inspire confidence in the American economy – 134,000 jobs were added in September, resulting in the lowest unemployment rate since 1969, and wages continued to increase. The fuel and petrochemical industries, which are in the midst of a historic production and manufacturing boom, can take part of the credit for the good news. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between September 2017 and September 2018, 278,000 U.S. jobs were created in manufacturing – with 18,000 industry jobs added last month alone – marking a steady stream of continued sector growth. The data includes jobs in petrochemical refining and in the production of plastics, rubbers, packaging materials, industrial gases, resins and artificial fibers – products that AFPM members either create or create the raw materials for. Despite the projected impacts of Hurricane Florence on September’s numbers, the data suggest that growth is strong and expected to continue. The unemployment rate reached 3.7 percent last month, and wages are up 2.8 percent year-over-year. These gains indicate eight years of progress for American laborers, contributing to a favorable market for employees and job-seekers. The fuel and petrochemical industries have helped sustain – and stimulate – long term growth in the U.S. labor market, with AFPM member companies employing over three million Americans and adding hundreds of billions of dollars to the American economy each year. AFPM acknowledges the fuel and petrochemical workforce for driving progress, in both industry and economy.