The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that nonfarm job openings increased from 5,785,000 in March to 6,044,000 in April, a new all-time high. This continued an upward trend that began after job postings fell to 5,491,000 in August. In this release, construction, educational services, government, financial activities, leisure and hospitality and wholesale trade all saw increased openings for the month. Yet, net hiring in the overall economy slowed, down from 106,000 in March to 78,000 in April. Read More
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that there were 394,000 job openings in the manufacturing sector in March, up from 364,000 in February. This matched the reading from July 2016, and each was the fastest rate since April 2006. In March, increased job openings for both durable (up from 209,000 to 229,000) and nondurable (up from 155,000 to 165,000) goods firms helped to lift the headline number, with the durable goods pace at levels last seen in July 2007. Overall, this report suggests that manufacturing leaders are accelerating their hiring intentions in light of recent improvements in the economic outlook, including better figures for demand and production. Indeed, job openings should be a good proxy of future hiring, and as such, it bodes well for improved employment data moving forward. Read More
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