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ADP: Manufacturing Employment Declined in July for the First Time Since November

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics | No Comments

ADP reported that manufacturing employment declined by 4,000 in July, declining for the first time since November. Overall, the sector has added 98,000 net new workers year-to-date. Despite the weaker data in this report, manufacturers have noted better employment growth this year than last, with employers accelerating their hiring in light of stronger activity and sentiment. In contrast, hiring in 2016 was flat for the year as a whole. With that in mind, we are hopeful that the trend of stronger job growth returns in the coming months.

Meanwhile, total private employment increased by 178,000 in July, pulling back somewhat from the 191,000 workers added in June but mostly in-line with consensus expectations. Nonfarm private payrolls have risen by 217,458 per month on average, which was notably higher than the 179,327 workers added each month in the second half of 2016. As such, the labor market has strengthened year-to-date, which is promising. The largest employment growth in July included professional and business services (up 65,000), education and health services (up 43,000), trade, transportation and utilities (up 24,000), leisure and hospitality (up 15,000) and financial activities (up 13,000). Small and medium-sized businesses (i.e., those with fewer than 500 employees) accounted for nearly three-quarters of all net new workers in July.   Read More

Manufacturing Employment in June Rose by 1,000

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

Manufacturing employment edged up by 1,000 in June, stabilizing a little after declining by 2,000 in May. On the positive side, it was the sixth increase in net hiring in the past seven months, with the sector adding 71,000 workers over that time frame. That stands in sharp contrast to the loss of 16,000 workers for all of 2016, and overall, the data suggest an increased willingness among manufacturers to add new workers since November. Yet, job growth in May and June in the manufacturing sector has been underwhelming, especially when compared to sentiment surveys—such as the one from Institute for Supply Management released earlier in the week—that have indicated relatively healthy expansions in employment. With that in mind, I would continue to expect better job gains moving forward, particularly given the improved demand and production outlook and stronger economic growth globally.

In June, the underlying manufacturing data were mixed. Employment among durable goods firms rose by 9,000 for the month, but this was nearly offset by a decline of 8,000 jobs for nondurable goods businesses. It was the second straight month with declines in nondurable goods employment growth, led by weaknesses in food manufacturing (down 3,300), paper and paper products (down 2,800) and apparel (down 1,000) in this release. In addition, motor vehicles and parts (down 1,300) has also continued to struggle on softer-than-desired sales year to date. Perhaps notably, employment in the food sector rose in non-seasonally adjusted data, so perhaps its decline could reflect those seasonal adjustments. Indeed, over the past 12 months, food manufacturing notched the fastest job growth in the sector, adding 28,300 since June 2016. Read More

ADP: Manufacturing Employment Rose for the Seventh Straight Month, Up by 6,000 in June

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics | No Comments

ADP reported that manufacturing employment rose by 6,000 in June, increasing for the seventh straight month. Over that time frame (from December through June), the sector added 117,000 net new workers. 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, hiring in 2016 was flat for the year as a whole. We are hopeful the trend of stronger job growth is one that continues in the coming months.

Meanwhile, total private employment increased by 158,000 in June, which was well below the 230,000 workers added in May and off from the consensus estimate of around 190,000. Nonetheless, through the first half of 2017, nonfarm private payrolls have risen by 218,043 per month on average, which was notably higher than the 179,327 workers added each month in the second half of 2016. Beyond manufacturing, the largest employment growth in June included professional and business services (up 69,000), trade, transportation and utilities (up 30,000) and education and health services (up 28,000), among others. Construction and mining employment fell by 2,000 and 4,000, respectively, for the month. Small and medium-sized businesses (i.e., those with fewer than 500 employees) accounted for 68.4 percent of all net new workers in June.

Nonfarm Job Openings Exceed 6 Million for the First Time Ever

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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

Job Openings in Manufacturing Increased Robustly in March

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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

Manufacturing Employment Increased for the Fourth Straight Month

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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

Philly Fed: Growth in Manufacturing Activity Remained Strong in March

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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: Fastest Monthly Manufacturing Job Growth in Nearly Five Years

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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

Manufacturing Employment Rose in December, but Down 45,000 for 2016 as a Whole

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics | No Comments

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: Manufacturing Employment Growth Continued to Disappoint in December

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics | No Comments

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.