Friday’s job report revealed U.S. manufacturers added another 22,000 workers last month, bringing the 12-month total to nearly half a million. Twelve million individuals now work at U.S. factories, a level not reached since the Great Recession.

Despite that progress, as a proportion of total private sector jobs, U.S. manufacturing is a shell of its former self. Today, roughly 1 in 10 Americans work a private sector job in manufacturing. At the end of World War II, that number was 4 in 10.

Still, a resurgence in factory work appears to be underway. Manufacturing in the country has been growing at an impressive 4% rate since April, the fastest pace in 38 years. Now, employers are finding it increasingly difficult to fill vacant roles, with over 800,000 job openings at any given time last year.

Repeated supply chain disruptions throughout the pandemic helped propel the domestic manufacturing boom. Coupled with increasingly tense relations between Washington and Beijing, there is a growing appetite at home to ensure the United States is not too dependent on factory output from other countries.

According to Hayden Jennison, production manager for Jennison Corporation based in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, “It was taking months for parts to not only get manufactured but come across, and they decided they were willing to pay U.S. manufacturing pricing to get that much faster.”

Employers desperate to fill vacant positions have had to offer up competitive wages.

“Hiring experienced candidates that understand the industry, and understand what they’re doing, has been very difficult,” said Jennison. Even at up to $30 an hour, Jennison struggles to find workers.

The current economic environment has not followed a traditional trajectory. Typically, economic downturns like the one the U.A. is experiencing lead to a reduction in factory jobs. Despite concerns of a full-blown recession, the manufacturing industry is instead experiencing a surge in growth.

Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, believes “we’re in uncharted territory.” Timmons says that “For every 100 job openings in the sector, we only have 60 people who are looking. I think it’ll take quite a while to fill that pipeline.”

Manufacturing jobs pay, on average, 11% more than other private sector positions and 81% more than retail jobs. That is good news for Americans seeking high-paying factory positions, especially considering the sector enjoyed another 5% salary increase over the past 12 months alone.