The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that manufacturing labor productivity rebounded strongly in the fourth quarter, up 5.7 percent at the annual rate. The third quarter figures were pulled lower by hurricane-related weaknesses, with labor productivity and output down 4.9 percent and 1.6 percent in that report, respectively. In contrast, output soared 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter, reflecting both a recovery from the hurricanes and stronger economic growth. Hours worked in the sector rose by 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, with unit labor costs off by 3.7 percent. The sectoral breakdowns were also encouraging, with labor productivity for durable and nondurable goods firms up 6.7 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.
For the year, manufacturing labor productivity increased 0.7 percent, with output and unit labor costs up 1.7 percent and 0.9 percent in 2017, respectively. The annual figure for manufacturing labor productivity growth was slightly better than the average seen from 2013 to 2017, which was just 0.4 percent. Indeed, sluggish productivity growth continues to be one of the larger frustrations in the U.S. economy in the aftermath of the Great Recession. In comparison, the average growth rate for manufacturing labor productivity was 3.9 percent in both the 1990-2000 and 2002-2008 time frames, or the two prior economic recoveries. Read More
NAM Statement on the 2018 State of the Union Address
Timmons: “Tonight, President Trump Once Again Showed the American People the High Value He Places on Manufacturing in America”
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on tonight’s State of the Union address:
“It was a powerful and historic moment when the President of the United States recognized Steve Staub, Sandy Keplinger and Corey Adams of NAM member Staub Manufacturing Solutions. Hosting them in the first lady’s box was another demonstration of where the President places manufacturers—in the best seats.
“Their story is the story of manufacturers across the country who are confident in our future, more optimistic than ever before and empowered to invest in our people and our communities. Tonight, President Trump once again showed the American people the high value he places on manufacturing in America.
“The President made 2017 the Year of the Manufacturer with his unrelenting focus on improving the lives of manufacturing workers. Now he is clearly aiming to make 2018 another banner year for manufacturers in America. The NAM and manufacturers across this country stand at the ready to work with leaders in Congress to advance a bold and ambitious agenda to rebuild our nation’s broken infrastructure, upskill our workforce for modern manufacturing jobs, deliver further regulatory relief for the men and women who make things in America and finally provide a pathway to legal status for those young immigrants who know no other country than ours. That is the path we must take in order to build on the momentum of tax reform and reach new heights in 2018.”
“…putting additional funds into capital expenditures, employee training, and charitable contributions.”
We already know that the rapidly evolving manufacturing industry is in critical need of a pipeline of skilled workers, so what better way for manufacturers to invest in their company, community, industry and economy as a whole than to support an expanded and diverse talent pipeline, which includes attracting girls and women?
We know women in manufacturing make a measurable difference. Recent McKinsey research shows us that having a diverse workforce really does enhance their competitive advantage. Of the 366 public companies analyzed, those in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above national industry medians. Furthermore, they attract a higher quality talent pool and better serve customers because of the heightened innovation that diverse teams deliver.
So how do we build a pipeline of female leaders? Below are five ways companies can help advance women in manufacturing.
- Mentor an early career professional. Pay it forward by mentoring a peer or colleague. You’ve been there, done that—share the challenges you’ve overcome, the experiences you’ve had and the advice you would give to your younger self to help others advance in their careers.
- Create an affinity group. Female role models need to be seen and heard in all levels of the workplace, and affinity groups are the perfect platform for their voices. When early career women have the opportunity to engage meaningfully with their more senior colleagues, it allows all women to learn and grow across generations.
- Engage with the National Girls Collaborative Project. The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) is a nonprofit initiative to help connect individuals to programs that support girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The NGCP operates on a local basis and will provide a directory of girl-serving STEM programs in your area.
- Partner with the Boys & Girls Club. The Boys & Girls Club of America is an effective grassroots way to reach girls and boys and introduce them early to the possibility of a career in modern manufacturing.
- Visit your local schools. Teachers everywhere welcome the opportunity to have employers speak to their classes. Classroom visits are fantastic opportunities for manufacturers to bring the industry to the student and vividly bring manufacturing careers alive.
If we want to see a solid pipeline of future female talent in manufacturing, we need to tap into today’s female manufacturing leaders. They have the power to inspire a young girl to excel in STEM. They are the ones who lend a credible example of hard work and success. And it is those women who can spark the imagination of girls as they begin to think about the potential careers that manufacturing offers.
‘The facility will support 125 new jobs and is the company’s first new U.S. plant in nearly 30 years…’