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Justin Fox

The Gun-Manufacturing Boom

Industry employment hasn't changed much. But it's churning out product like never before.
Plenty to go around.

Plenty to go around.

Photographer: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

On Jobs Day every month, I write a brief column looking at some long-run trend in the data that gets ignored in the excitement over whether nonfarm payroll employment gains beat the consensus or not (and wow, did they in June). With the terrible events of the past week, I wondered whether it made sense to do so today. But, well, there is a somewhat relevant employment category:

Employment in the gun-making industry in the U.S. isn't exactly booming. But as the overall manufacturing sector hemorrhaged jobs from 2001 to 2010, gun makers did at least hold employment reasonably steady.