The manufacturing employment report reflecting December's numbers is a dose of good news. As every one waits patiently for the economy to turn around, or at least signs that we are headed in the right direction, this report shows we are taking baby steps in the right direction. In December, the US unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent. During last fiscal year (2011) the United States added 1.64 million new jobs up from 940,000 in 2010. Manufacturing added 225,000 new workers in 2011. The segments of the manufacturing industry that showed the strongest gains were transportation equipment, fabricated metal products and machinery. This report is good news for the manufacturing industry and the recent numbers point to optimism for growing production and employment among manufacturers for the coming months of 2012.