December 3, 2013: One number shows a #MFG uptick. Does that mean more #MFG jobs?

Posted by mmcmullan on 12/03/2013

Good morning,

Around these parts, we don’t like nothin’ like we like manufacturing data. And this Friday, we’ll be able to take our economic temperature when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its monthly jobs report. Last month turned out to be the best month for manufacturing employment in quite some time; will the U.S. economy keep the momentum going?

Well, we’ve got an early clue: the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released its own monthly index of factory activity, and it shows that American manufacturing is in the midst of more growth:

Take a look at those graphs, especially the one on the right. What does an expanding manufacturing sector mean? Business may be booming, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that businesses are expanding payrolls (hiring more people). We’re holding out hope that manufacturing employment experiences the same kind of uptick that factory orders are apparently experiencing. We’ll know more later this week when we update the #AAMeter, our running tally of the 1 million manufacturing jobs that President Obama promised to create by the end of his second term. Stay tuned.

Elsewhere around the web:

The nice people at the National Journal commissioned a poll that found -- you guessed it -- that Americans would be happiest if Congress and the White House got together for a legitimate jobs agenda, for cripes’ sake. Writes Alex Roarty:

Remarkably, respondents showed little variation when they were asked if they preferred cutting taxes (a conservative priority) or boosting spending (a liberal preference) to create jobs. Seventy-five percent said they would be pleased or very pleased if jobs were created by reducing taxes and regulation, while 77 percent said the same about increasing investment in infrastructure projects.

That’s good stuff. And it reads a lot like our own polling, which consistently shows that despite plenty of political distractions, the top priority for American voters remains jobs, jobs, and jobs.

While Vice President Biden’s jaunt to Asia was supposed to be focused on the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, he instead finds himself instead in the (awkward?) position of referee.

Japan and China have been sparring over a set of islands in the East China Sea, our trade ties with both countries makes for tricky U.S. diplomatic efforts. Writing for Reuters today, Stanley White and Elaine Lies provide the first glimpse of how the Veep is handling the situation.

The United States has made clear it will stand by treaty obligations that require it to defend the Japanese-controlled islands, but it is also reluctant to get dragged into any military clash between the Asian rivals.

’This action has raised regional tensions and increased the risk of accidents and miscalculation,’ Biden told a news conference alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

’This underscores the need for crisis management mechanisms and effective channels of communication between China and Japan to reduce the risk of escalation.’

He said he would raise U.S. concerns directly when he met Chinese leaders.

We’ll continue updating you on Biden’s trip throughout the week.

It’s gift-giving season, America. While you’re out there doing your holiday shopping, whether in-person or online, your pals at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (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 AAM helps 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!

-AAM

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