Manufacturers and Hiring, More Signals

By February 18, 2010Economy, General

More reporting and commentary sparked by the Federal Reserve’s latest monthly report on industrial production, including a good piece in CNNMoney, “Rebound on the factory floor“:

Dave Huether, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, agrees with Zandi that U.S. manufacturers have a relatively bright outlook.

He said the sector is far better positioned today than it was at the end of the previous recession in late 2001, due partly to the lower value of the dollar, which remains relatively weak against other currencies despite a rally this year.

Huether believes that manufacturers could start to hire significant numbers of workers later this year, and that job growth will continue all the way through 2012. He is predicting a million new manufacturing jobs in the next few years. There hasn’t been an annual net gain in jobs since 1997.

“Will we get all the jobs back? Probably not. But we’ll do better than in the last recovery when we really didn’t see any job growth,” Huether said.

AP has a useful box, “Industrial Production at a Glance.” The Fed’s news release is here. Earlier Shopfloor post, “Positive Portents.”

UPDATE (10:28 a.m.): “Jobs claims rise unexpectedly.” Just a week’s report, but still.

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