One of the weakest parts of the US economy crushed the January jobs report

For months now economists and others have bemoaned the downfall of manufacturing in the US.

The sector has been in a technical recession for months and concerns are growing over whether it could drag down the broader economy.

Friday’s January jobs report, however, had a some much-needed good news for the industry.

The sector added 29,000 jobs in January, the most since August 2013.

In fact, this month’s numbers are a continuation of a steady upward trend. Or as Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, put it on Twitter: “Manufacturing jobs past six months, starting with July: -18K, -9K, +2K, +3K, +13K, +29K. Maybe all the recession talk is, well, a bit wrong.”

On the flip side, one of the (consistent) letdowns of the report was mining employment, with the sector losing 7,000 jobs in the sector.

But overall, for a sector supposedly on the cusp of collapse, January’s manufacturing data is a welcome sign.

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