The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that manufacturing employment increased for the fourth straight month, with the sector adding 11,000 workers in March. This was an encouraging sign that the recent uptick in optimism in the sector has begun to translate into better job growth, especially when contrasted with the declines in employment seen as recently as last autumn. Indeed, manufacturers lost 16,000 workers on net in 2016 as a whole, the first annual decline since the Great Recession. In contrast to that, manufacturing employment has averaged 16,750 per month since December. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons spoke about the shift in attitudes in his statement about the jobs numbers, stating that manufacturers are upbeat that “positive change is coming,” largely on expectations about pro-growth policies from the new Trump Administration. Read More
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that manufacturing activity remained strong in March, even as headline growth pulled back from its strongest pace since November 1983. The composite index of general business activity decreased from 43.3 in February to 32.8 in March, which continued to be quite elevated. Despite the easing in the composite measure, many of the underlying data points expanded at a faster rate in March. This included new orders (up from 38.0 to 38.6), shipments (up from 28.6 to 32.9), employment (up from 11.1 to 17.5) and the average workweek (up from 13.6 to 18.5). Indeed, 53.4 percent of respondents said that sales were higher in March than in February, which should bode well for activity down the line. On the downside, faster growth appears to be leading to increased pricing pressures (up from 29.9 to 40.7), its highest level since May 2011. Read More
ADP said that manufacturing employment grew strongly in February, with the sector hiring 32,000 workers for the month on net. It was the third straight monthly gain in manufacturing employment and the fastest monthly pace since March 2012. This was yet another sign that we have turned a corner in the labor market, with employers accelerating their hiring in light of stronger activity and sentiment. In contrast, firms were more cautious in 2016, with 39,000 fewer workers on net last year. Hopefully, the trend of stronger job growth is one that continues in the coming months. Read More
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that manufacturing employment rose by 17,000 in December, its first monthly increase since July. That is hopefully a sign of better hiring numbers moving forward, which would be consistent with some of the improved sentiment and activity data of late. Nonetheless, it does not reverse the disappointing trend seen for 2016 as a whole, which saw manufacturing hiring down by 45,000 workers on net for the sector. Indeed, for most of last year, manufacturing leaders were quite cautious in their hiring in light of disappointing demand and production data and persistent economic uncertainties and headwinds. Read More
ADP said that manufacturing employment growth continued to disappoint, with hiring down by 9,000 in December. For the year as a whole, employment in the sector fell by 51,000 in 2016, with manufacturers wary about adding to their workforces given ongoing global headwinds and economic uncertainties. Hopefully, that begins to turn around moving forward into 2017 with improved signs of activity seen in other measures. Indeed, job openings have remained elevated in recent months, suggesting that manufacturers are prepared to accelerate hiring and be less cautious with better demand and production figures.
Meanwhile, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 153,000 in December, weaker than the consensus estimate of around 170,000. In 2016, nonfarm payrolls increased by 174,450 per month on average, a decent pace but down from the 209,000 average per month in 2015. For the month, goods-producing employment was lower across-the-board, including mining (down 5,000) and construction (down 2,000) in addition to manufacturing. The information sector also lost workers in December, down by 6,000. The largest job gains were in trade, transportation and utilities (up 82,000), education and health services (up 29,000), professional and business services (up 24,000) and financial activities (up 10,000).
Small and medium-sized businesses (e.g., those with less than 500 employees) accounted for more than 58.2 percent of all net new workers in the month.
Tomorrow, we will get new jobs data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for December, and the consensus estimate is also for around 170,000 new nonfarm payroll jobs for the month. Manufacturing employment is expected to remain soft, hopefully near zero or with a slight increase.
ADP said that manufacturing employment edged lower in October, with hiring in the sector down in eight of the ten months so far this year. In October, there were 1,000 fewer workers on net for manufacturers, which continue to be challenged by global headwinds and economic anxieties. Overall, employment in the sector is down by 38,000 year-to-date. This suggests that manufacturers remain wary about adding to their workforce, particularly with sluggish growth in demand and production. Yet, job openings have been more favorable of late, which could indicate better hiring growth moving forward when manufacturers become less cautious. Read More
For the second straight month, manufacturing employment fell, which was disappointing. Given the rebound in sentiment and activity seen in other measures, there was some hope that job growth might stabilize in this report. Instead, manufacturers lost 13,000 workers on net in September, extending the loss of 16,000 employees in August. More importantly, manufacturing employment has decreased by 58,000 year-to-date, suggesting continuing cautiousness among manufacturing business leaders to add workers in light of lingering weaknesses in the global economy.
On this Manufacturing Day, that message is a bittersweet one. We were encouraged by the rebound in demand and production seen in Monday’s ISM figures, and there is some expectation that activity will pick up in the coming months. Yet, these figures suggest a degree of nervousness in the economic outlook, with job growth in manufacturing continuing to lag behind.
With that in mind – and especially with the election just weeks away – manufacturers will continue to stress pro-growth policies that will enable faster economic growth and enhance the sector’s overall global competitiveness. Read More
In another sign that manufacturing in the United States remains weaker-than-desired despite some signs of recent progress, employment in the sector fell once again in August. Manufacturers hired 14,000 fewer workers on net in August, and the job gains for the prior two months were revised down by a combined 10,000. All in all, manufacturing employment has fallen by 39,000 year-to-date through August, suggesting continuing cautiousness among manufacturing business leaders to add workers in light of lingering weaknesses in the global economy. It is hard not to be disappointed by these numbers, particularly when combined with yesterday’s ISM data, which found that overall manufacturing activity contracted for the first time since February.
Durable goods firms shed 16,000 workers in August, with nondurable goods manufacturers adding 2,000 jobs for the month. Of the 19 major sectors in manufacturing, all but four had reduced employment in August. The largest declines were seen in the transportation equipment (down 6,400, including a 5,600 decline for motor vehicles and parts), primary metals (down 2,500) and nonmetallic mineral products (down 1,400). In contrast, there were employment gains in August for food manufacturing (up 4,500), paper and paper products (up 700), machinery (up 500) and petroleum and coal products (up 400). Read More
ADP said that manufacturing employment was unchanged in August after rising in July for the first time in six months. Overall, hiring in the sector has been challenged so far this year, with employment down by 33,000 workers through the first eight months of 2016. This suggests that manufacturers have been wary about adding to their workforce in light of ongoing global headwinds and sluggish growth in demand and production. Recent data have suggested some improvements in activity for U.S. manufacturers, and hopefully, this will translate into increased hiring moving forward for the sector. Read More
For the second straight month, job numbers in the U.S. economy were relatively strong, with each above the consensus estimate. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 255,000 in July, extending the gain of 292,000 seen in June. As a result, the country has averaged 273,500 net new workers over the past two months, a decent jump over the 151,000 average seen over the first five months of 2016. This suggests that employers have begun to hire again despite continued cautiousness and lingering weaknesses in the global macroeconomy. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent. Yet, the so-called real unemployment rate – which includes discouraged workers, the underemployed and those working part-time for economic reasons – increased from 9.6 percent to 9.7 percent.
In the manufacturing sector, employers added 9,000 workers in July. This followed an increase of 15,000 in June, and like the nonfarm payroll numbers, it was an encouraging sign. With that said, manufacturing employment has declined by 15,000 on net year-to-date, suggesting that softness in demand and production in the sector have dampened hiring activity of late. Hopefully, employment growth for manufacturers continues to tick higher moving forward – something that is likely to happen if the sector continues to stabilize. Since the end of the Great Recession, manufacturers have added 852,000 workers. Read More