December 17, 2013: #MFG employment tea leaves
We’re in the thick of the holiday season. But it’s not too early to look ahead to 2014. That’s what one economist with the financial firm Barclays did, and he sees good news on the horizon for manufacturing employment. As summarized by Business Insider’s Rob Wile:
(Cooper) Howes says hours probably can't go much higher. Meanwhile, manufacturing productivity gains have also topped out, at about 2%. And max hours plus max productivity, he says, means ‘...employers will be forced to hire in order for output to keep up with increasing demand.’
That would explain November’s strong jobs data from the sector: Manufacturing employment can only go up. Let’s hope that is indeed the case.
Elsewhere around the web:
On the surface, GM’s announcement that it will invest $1.3 billion into plants in the Michigan area seems like great news. However, let’s chase that news with a big grain of salt. Reporting for Auto News, Nick Bunkley writes: “GM said today the investment would create or retain 1,000 jobs, without saying how many of the jobs would be new.” A ha! There’s always a catch. We’ll keep our collective Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) eye on this story to see if GM’s investment manifests itself in new jobs.
Lets ask the Commerce Secretary:
From the “How dare they!” file: The outcry surrounding Ralph Lauren’s Chinese-made opening ceremony uniforms for the 2012 summer Olympics apparently didn’t resonate enough, because the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) decided Chinese-made mittens would be a good idea. Gearing up for the Sochi winter games, the USOC is selling the mittens as a fundraiser for $14 per pair. Its excuse? Price point. It should be noted here that the “official” Team USA mittens can be purchased for $98 on Ralph Lauren’s website. However, there are more options than simply $98 for Made in the USA or $14 for Made in China. Did the USOC even try a Google search?
On the radar: Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) are unveiling a new report on the state of American manufacturing sector. The report goes public this morning, and we'll have the full download later. Stay tuned.
Get off the couch and finish your holiday shopping! But when you hit the bricks, try to Buy American. AAM President Scott Paul and Alex Bogusky from the Made Movement make the case for American-made gifts:
From athletic footwear to flatscreen TVs, there are companies manufacturing in America today. And while you may expect to pay a premium for American-made quality, you'd be surprised at how easily those on tight budgets can find gifts at competitive prices.
Because seriously, it’s gift-giving season, America. And while you’re out there doing your holiday shopping, whether in-person or online, your pals at AAM hope you keep your purchases Made in the U.S.A.
Why? AAM President Scott Paul said it thusly:
We consume too much from overseas, and we don’t produce enough here to make up the difference. That burdens us with debt and leaves us with fewer jobs. There is a solution and it may sound quaint, but it’s never been truer than it is today: Buy American.
Easier said than done? Not if we help you out! We’ve posted a list of 51 American-made gifts suggestions, one from every state (and the District of Columbia). Throughout the month of December we’ll continue providing you with ideas, tips, and tricks. So check out our Holiday page often, as we’ll update it frequently.
Have an American-made gift that you’re giving, or coveting? We want to hear about it. Tweet it to @KeepItMadeinUSA or email us: info [at] aamfg [dot] org.
Happy Tuesday, America.
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