The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that manufacturers lost 9,000 workers in September, extending the 18,000 declines seen in August. These numbers are disappointing, as they show just how sluggish growth has become in the manufacturing sector over the past few months, mirroring the stagnant ISM data released yesterday. Since January (or over the past eight months), the manufacturing sector has netted zero net new jobs, with 27,000 workers lost in just the past two months. In the second half of 2014, manufacturers were hiring at the more-robust pace of 20,667 workers per month on average, illustrating a significant pullback in employment growth year-to-date. Indeed, manufacturers have grappled for much of this year with headwinds from abroad, a strong U.S. dollar, gridlock in Washington on critical market-opening policies and lower crude oil prices – each of which have combined to dampen demand, production and hiring. (continue reading…)
The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) reflected stagnant activity in the sector, falling from 51.1 in August to 50.2 in September. This was the lowest level since May 2013, illustrating the struggles that manufacturers continue to face in light of headwinds in the economy from the stronger dollar and sluggishness abroad. The sample comments echoed these challenges, specifically noting exchange rates, crude oil, China and “nervous” consumers. While activity remains ever-so-slightly expansionary (in that the PMI value remains above the key threshold of 50), new orders (down from 51.7 to 50.1) shifted from very modest growth in August to being essentially flat in September, and exports (unchanged at 46.5) were not helpful, contracting for the seventh time so far this year. (continue reading…)
Negotiators from the twelve Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries are meeting this week in Atlanta, GA, to seek to close a final TPP agreement. Manufacturers in the U.S. are watching closely to see if negotiators aim for trade and investment liberalization with high-standards that will increase the opportunities and competitiveness of America’s manufacturing sector and expand opportunities for new partnerships that will benefit all of the TPP nations. (continue reading…)
HANNOVER MESSE 2016 Press Conference: New Manufacturing Technologies are Gateways for Global Competitiveness
Leading manufacturing CEOs and U.S. and International trade officials gathered in Chicago, Illinois, for a press conference today to discuss the state of manufacturing in advance of HANNOVER MESSE 2016—the world’s largest and most prominent industrial technology event. The United States has the distinction of partner country for next year’s gathering, which will take place April 25-29, 2016, in Hannover, Germany. (continue reading…)
The rumors are true; the Senate is set to consider major chemical reform. Taking up S. 697, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, demonstrates that bipartisan partnership is still possible amid partisan gridlock.
From introduction of S. 697 by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) to the current slate of 23 Democrat and 33 Republican Senate cosponsors, efforts to fix our broken chemical system have been a real team effort. In addition to the NAM, hundreds of groups have come out supporting S. 697, from industry, labor, and public health, to environmental, wildlife, and animal welfare organizations. This unprecedented effort to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reminds us that there’s still hope for Washington as long as people are willing set differences aside and work together for the greater good. (continue reading…)
ADP said that manufacturing employment fell by 15,000 in September, declining for the fifth time year-to-date. Indeed, the sector has shed 7,000 workers through the first nine months of 2015, according to ADP, reflecting the significant challenges faced by businesses right now. A number of headwinds have hampered demand, production and hiring growth, ranging from the strong dollar to economic softness abroad to lower crude oil prices. To illustrate just how much has changed in the labor market so far this year, manufacturers hired roughly 19,000 new workers per month on average in the second half of 2014, when activity was growing more robustly. (continue reading…)
This month, the National Confectioners Association (NCA) , a member of the NAM’s Council on Manufacturing Associations, released the results of a new economic impact study at an industry and media briefing in Washington, DC. Joining NCA for the announcement were Members of Congress and leading confectionery manufacturers from across the country. (continue reading…)
Manufacturers are quick to point out that getting energy policy right is central to America’s competitive advantage within the global marketplace. That’s why the NAM supports the efforts of the House Energy & Commerce Committee to advance H.R. 8, The North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015.
Energy means opportunity. Because manufacturers use one-third of the energy consumed in this country, we depend on a secure, affordable, reliable mix of energy resources to remain competitive. Our energy renaissance has put millions of Americans to work and is creating countless new opportunities for manufacturers. (continue reading…)
This week, three House committees will each take up portions of a reconciliation bill that repeal elements of the Affordable Care Act that are in their respective jurisdictions. Components the House Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Workforce Committees are including in the package would repeal the Employee Benefits Tax, the Medical Device Tax, Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), automatic enrollment, and the Employer Mandate. The bills are expected to pass out of the three committees primarily on party-line votes, but there may be a smattering of Democratic support for individual components such as IPAB repeal which was supported by Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA) in the Ways and Means Committee, but that will not translate into support for the broader package expected to be on the floor of the House. (continue reading…)