Manufacturing Jobs Rocking In Craft Beer & Cupcake Production

We had a little fun Twitter exchange yesterday with Scott Lincicome, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, and Brent Orrell, Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

So we had to run some numbers on job growth in the manufacturing sector using the BLS Data Base.

Craft Beer and Cupcake Jobs Outperforming 

First, our use of the term  “Craft Beer” is a bit of a misnomer.  The BLS defines this category as all employees in breweries, wineries, and distilleries.  So too with our use of the term “Cupcakes”, which the BLS defines as employees in chocolate and confectionery manufacturing.

We choose to use these terms to emphasize our priors that higher-paying manufacturing jobs continue to be replaced by lower-paying jobs even in the manufacturing sector and that the headline numbers should be more closely dissected and analyzed.

Craft Beer & Cupcake Manufacturing Jobs Rocking

Nonetheless, however, defined, the growth in both subsectors — albeit a very small proportion of nondurable manufacturing goods employment — are far outpacing the overall manufacturing job growth, which is kind of/or could be a fractal of what is taking place in the overall sector.   Emphasis on could as this is really a fun MM exercise and if we were serious we would spend more time on it but you’re not paying enough and we will leave that to you and the Fellows above.

Nevertheless, the data show that from just before the Great Financial Crisis (GFC), in August 2008 to peak employment prior to the COVID crisis in February 2020, job growth in the “Craft Beer” sector increased by a stunning 145.15 percent compared to 11.11 percent for total nonfarm payrolls, -3.79 percent for total manufacturing job growth, and -2.72 percent for nondurable manufacturing jobs.

“Cupcake” jobs growth also significantly outperformed, up 17.78 percent — again,  albeit from a low base.


Not a very bankable analysis but does give you sort of a sense and story of what’s going with employment in the manufacturing sector, which, by the way,  is also very sensitive to the movements in the dollar.  We highly recommend you check it out for yourself.

Good cocktail conversation and some potentially nice political fodder for those who understand how to mine data and waterboard it until it confesses whatever you want it to.

We also defer all things confectionery to the daughter of GMM’s chief stock picker, Carol K.,  who is a master pastry chef, very impressive for a young teenager.

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