The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that manufacturing job openings dipped from 435,000 in August—its highest level since January 2001—to 425,000 in September. Overall, though, this data suggests that manufacturers are posting new jobs at a very strong rate, with an improved economic outlook boosting employment growth. To put the current number in perspective, job openings in the sector were 326,000 one year ago. The underlying job openings data in September were mixed. Durable goods firms added posted more jobs in September, up from 248,000 to 255,000, a level not seen since April 2006. In contrast, job openings were lower for nondurable goods businesses for the second straight month, down from 187,000 to 170,000. This could reflect some negative impacts from recent hurricanes, likely making the decrease temporary. Read More
Today’s strong jobs report shows manufacturers’ record optimism this year is continuing to translate into real job creation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that manufacturers added 24,000 workers in October, improving from a hurricane-related gain of just 6,000 in September. Note that the August and September data were revised upwardly in the latest figures, adding another 10,000 in total to what was estimated previously in those months. Through the first 10 months of 2017, manufacturing employment has risen by 13,800 on average per month—a definite improvement from the loss of 16,000 workers in 2016 as a whole and a sign that firms have stepped up their hiring as a result of a stronger economic outlook and increased demand and production activity. Indeed, since the end of the Great Recession, manufacturing employment has risen by 1,028,000 workers, with 12.48 million employees in the sector in this report.
We have also seen some upward pressure on wages. In this release, average weekly earnings for manufacturing workers rose from $1,090.18 in September to $1,097.57 in October, with that figure up 2.1 percent over the past 12 months. In addition, the average number of hours worked per week in the manufacturing sector edged up from 40.8 to 41.0, with average overtime hours shifting from 3.4 to 3.5 in this release.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said manufacturing hiring remained robust in August, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) figures. The sector hired 352,000 workers in August, edging down from 353,000 in July. The pace of hiring in both months was the best since November 2007. In August, increased hiring at durable goods firms (up from 205,000 to 212,000, its highest level since November 2007) was essentially offset by reduced hiring for nondurable goods businesses (down from 148,000 to 140,000). At the same time, total separations—including layoffs, quits and retirements—fell from 320,000 to 304,000, a six-month low. As a result, net hiring (or hires minus separations) jumped from 33,000 in July to 48,000 in August. Read More
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that manufacturers lost 1,000 workers in September, with the overall jobs numbers negatively impacts by damaging hurricanes in the month. In addition, the July and August data were also revised lower, subtracting 32,000 from prior manufacturing job growth estimates. Despite the disappointing figures in September, the reduced hiring is likely a temporary phenomenon, with employment expectations continuing to be very strong overall. Indeed, manufacturers have accelerated the pace of hiring since December, adding 122,000 workers on net over that 10-month time frame. That is a definite improvement following the loss of 16,000 workers seen in 2016 as a whole and a sign that firms have stepped up their hiring as a result of a stronger economic outlook and increased demand and production activity. Indeed, since the end of the Great Recession, manufacturing employment has risen by nearly one million workers, with 12.45 million employees in the sector in this report.
On this Manufacturing Day, it is important to remember that the ability to attract and retain a quality workforce is in a virtual tie for first place as one of the top challenges for manufacturers, according to the latest NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey. As the labor market has tightened, workforce development challenges have become more pressing for business leaders in the sector. In addition, we have also seen some upward pressure on wages. In this release, average weekly earnings for manufacturing workers rose from $1,080.99 in August to $1,085.88 in September, with that figure up 2.0 percent over the past 12 months. Read More
ADP said that manufacturing employment remained a bright spot in September, with the sector adding 18,000 net new workers for the month. As such, it extended the rather-robust increase seen in August, and year-to-date, manufacturers have hired 158,000 additional employees on net. That translates into an average of just over 17,500 per month, and it represents a significant turnaround from 2016’s more-sluggish pace of hiring. This is another sign that the labor market has tightened in the sector as the overall outlook has improved, and we hope that this bodes well for continued job growth moving forward.
With that said, total nonfarm private employment rose by just 135,000 in September, off from 228,000 in August. These date were likely negatively impacted by devastating hurricanes in the month. Even with some softness in the latest figures, nonfarm private payrolls have increased by nearly 222,000 per month on average year-to-date, which was notably higher than the 179,327 workers added each month in the second half of 2016. In September, the largest employment growth included professional and business services (up 51,000), construction (up 29,000), education and health services (up 29,000), and leisure and hospitality (up 20,000).
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that manufacturers added 36,000 net new workers in August, its fastest monthly gain in five years and increasing for the third consecutive month. In addition, the June and July data were revised higher, increasing employment in the sector by a total of 19,000 more than originally estimated. As such, manufacturing was a bright spot in the latest jobs data—a sign that the sector has rebounded from global headwinds over the past two years.
Indeed, over the past nine months, manufacturing employment has risen by 155,000, averaging 17,222 per month. That is a definite improvement following the loss of 16,000 workers on net for 2016. Moreover, total manufacturing employment rose to 12.48 million, rising by 1.03 million since the Great Recession and its highest level since January 2009.
A recent study from the Institute for Policy Studies seems to assert that businesses with lower tax rates were not job creators. Specifically, they analyzed “92 publicly held U.S. corporations that reported a U.S. profit every year from 2008 through 2015 and paid less than 20 percent of these earnings in federal corporate income tax.” They then assert that those 92 firms lost 1 percent of their workforce in that time frame versus a 6 percent gain for the U.S. private sector as a whole.
The authors use this analysis to suggest that pro-growth tax reform will not produce the positive employment benefits that its advocates, including the NAM, assert. But, this misses the point. You cannot extrapolate the tax burdens of 92 firms to the larger economy, mostly because there are a variety of reasons why those individual firms might have paid lower tax rates in those years, including deductions for losses in prior years.
The important point—missed in this paper—is that American businesses are at a competitive disadvantage globally, with marginal tax rates in the United States higher than any other major economy. We need pro-growth tax reform—an idea that has bipartisan support. Read More
According to ADP, after slightly declining by 1,000 in July, manufacturing employment rebounded in August, with the sector adding 16,000 net new workers for the month. This was the fastest pace since March, and since November, manufacturers have increased their workforce by an average of nearly 14,650 per month. That continues to represent a turnaround relative to one year ago, with manufacturing employment down by 19,000 in August 2016 and hiring flat for 2016 as a whole. We hope this bodes well for continued job growth moving forward. Read More
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that manufacturing job openings bounced back from 350,000 in May—its slowest pace so far this year—to 388,000 in June. That was the best number since March’s reading of 404,000, which was a 16-year high. In June, both durable (up from 201,000 to 214,000) and nondurable (up from 149,000 to 174,000) goods firms had more job postings. Openings in the sector have averaged 372,000 year to date in 2017, an improvement from the average of 342,000 for all of 2016. We would expect stronger job openings data moving forward, especially given recent improvements in the economic outlook for the sector, and this should lead to better hiring figures. Read More