Blue-collar jobs are growing at their fastest rate in more than 30 years, helping fuel a hiring boom in many small towns and rural areas that are strong supporters of President Trump ahead of November's midterm elections.
Jobs in goods-producing industries — mining, construction and manufacturing — grew 3.3 percent in the year preceding July, the best rate since 1984, according to a Washington Post analysis.
Blue-collar jobs, long a small and shrinking part of the U.S. economy, are now growing at a faster clip than those in the nation's much larger service economy. Many factors collided to produce the blue-collar boom. Some are linked to short-term boom-and-bust cycles, but others may endure.
The rapid hiring in blue-collar sectors is delivering benefits to areas that turned out heavily for Trump in the 2016 election, according to the Brookings Institution, a shift from earlier in this expansion, when large and midsize cities experienced most of the gains.