An estimated 18,000 Americans working in manufacturing lost their jobs in March, one of just six industries to shed that many workers that month. While some manufacturing jobs, like those associated with food and drinks, have been busier in recent weeks, industry-wide orders have declined dramatically. New orders for goods from factories sank to their lowest level in over a decade.
In addition to demand issues and the strain added by social distancing rules, factories have also faced problems with supply. With supply lines from China disrupted as early as January, factories had to burn through stockpiled parts to make cell phones, cars, and other goods.