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U.S. manufacturing jobs return to 1941 levels

Welder
Photo: Waring Abbott via Getty Images

The number of U.S. manufacturing jobs is up from the trough of the financial crash, but they are still only back to where they were in 1941, when the population was less than half of today's.

The big picture: There were 12.8 million manufacturing jobs as of October, up from the 11.4 million in March 2010, the nadir of the financial crash, according to the St. Louis Fed. But they are still a shadow of their modern 19.4 million-job peak in 1979, and right about where they were in October 1941, when the U.S. population was 133 million, 40% of today's.

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