January 10, 2014: Wrapping up the week with some mediocre #mfg numbers

Posted by mmcmullan on 01/10/2014

Hello,

And TGIF, everybody. Your buds at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) imagine you’ve got a long weekend of thawing ahead. Understandable. It’s been a cold couple of days in America. You shoulda seen it in Chicago. The Windy City went all Ice Planet Hoth earlier this week:

But, as you sit back in a warm bath with the heater on blast this weekend, bring your laptop along and get updated. Welcome to Friday’s late Early Shift. We’ve got plenty of manufacturing news for you to mull over.

Trade deficit with China continues to grow

One could look at the Commerce Department’s monthly trade data (the latest edition of which it released earlier this week) and say that, hey, America’s goods trade deficit with China shrank by $2 billion! And that would be true. Yessir. Factually correct.

But. When you put it in context -- that the trade deficit for the month of November was still $26.9 billion; and that, in 2013, America is set to blow past the record $315 billion trade deficit with China it set in 2012 -- that $2 billion deficit reduction doesn’t seem like much. In fact, it seems kind of frustrating and repetitive, doesn’t it?

Manufacturing jobs just treading water

More numbers: This morning we got an updated employment picture from the government. Would the manufacturing sector continue to hire at the same clip as it did in November, when it created more than 30,000 jobs?

Nope. Manufacturing hiring dropped to just 9,000 in December. Here’s the president’s punch card for 2013:

Bear in mind, 9,000 jobs a month is well below the rate at which the sector will have to grow if President Obama is going to fulfill his campaign promise of creating 1 million manufacturing jobs by 2017.

A pair of highlights from the ol’ AAM blog:

Numero Uno: If America isn’t hiring many manufacturing jobs, and the jobless rate is still ticking down, where is the hiring coming from? Service jobs.

See the full post here.

Numero Dos: High-speed rail in California has hit a nasty snag. But, despite a court ruling that calls funding for the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco project into question, AAM remains a big supporter. By using American-made materials in its construction, the project has the opportunity to create thousands of jobs for Californians, as well as workers elsewhere around the states.

Lastly, for your pop culture update: David Bowie, aka Ziggy Stardust, aka the Thin White Duke, turned 67 this week. Bowie’s British, but we’re not knocking him for that. We’ll just use his birthday as an awkward turn to promote some dope, American-made bowie knives. This style of knife, of course, is named after the famous American frontiersman. But no matter. We’re fans of all kinds of Bowies.

And that’s all ’til Monday, dear reader. Have a good weekend! We’ll see you then.

-AAM

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