October 11, 2013: the 'Yes, the government is still shut down' edition

Posted by LDonia on 10/11/2013

Good morning,

Could it be? Have we stumbled upon a breakthrough? Has an exasperated America finally seen the end of The Great Petulant Government Shutdown of 2013? Thursday evening news reports say a pow-wow between administration officials and congressional Republicans may have produced a tentative deal for a short-term debt ceiling hike.

And ...well...that’s it for now. So no, the government shutdown continues. Washington is considering only a temporary reprieve from the chaos that a debt default (which is still set for this Thursday, until announced otherwise) would cause, but that would only get us back to square one of political gridlock ... and still stuck in Shutdown City. Unless specifically addressed, the budget stalemate continues.

Will the shutdown end any time soon? Professional congressional watchers (yes, those exist) don’t seem to know, and might just have to guess at a conclusion -- or consult the bones -- from here on out. Meanwhile, frustration is growing on Main Street. Reports Alan Greenblatt for NPR:

’I think everybody's in shock that it's gone on this long,’ says (Peter Turok of the Anoka, Minnesota chamber of commerce). ‘The boys and girls in Washington have pulled their toys out of the sandbox and they're going to pout a little bit, but it's still going on.’

Elsewhere around the web:

A new report from Scott Andes and Mark Muro at Brookings suggests that the current trends in the auto manufacturing sector may foreshadow coming trends in other manufacturing sectors:

Simply put, the era of wage arbitrage is over for automakers and their U.S. suppliers. Soon all states will converge around comparable wage rates and no state will be able to compete with Mexico on labor costs alone. That means that American states and regions will need to get smarter now and find new ways to compete.

Our suggestion: Foster the excellence of local supply chain coordination, cultivate a stellar workforce, and ramp up technology development. These are going to be the new determinants of local advantage in a changing auto sector.

Co-sign on those suggestions!

A couple ICYMI items from this past week...

  • On Tuesday the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) highlighted five ways in which American Manufacturing is being harmed by the government shutdown. Just a day later, David Shepardson at the Detroit News added to the list: auto safety regulators halted their vehicle safety programs, and the Environmental Protection Agency had to stop approving the mileage ratings on new vehicles.
  • On Monday, California Congressman Mike Honda(D-17) attempted to rally support for American manufacturing through an op-ed in The Hill. "Manufacturing continues to be the platform for building a solid middle class across the United States," the Congressman writes. Hear, hear.

We still don’t have a jobs report for the month of September. As you may recall, due to the government shutdown, the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not release its monthly report last week. That said, small pieces of information continue to trickle from across the country which create an idea, albeit an incomplete one, of where manufacturing employment is at. According to the Central Penn Business Journal Armstrong World Industries has chosen Lancaster, PA as the production site of a tile line the company is reshoring from China. The company will be adding onto its 600,000 square foot facility to make way for the new jobs.

And speaking of that missing jobs report: Because the monthly government update on America’s employment situation was considered nonessential, AAM decided to issue its own. We asked our supporters across the nation to send in a jobs report as they saw it from their communities, and the results painted a picture of the American economy that a data dump can’t.

So no jobs report? No problem. Help us tell the jobs story that Washington won’t. Have you – or your friends, family, or neighbors – started looking for work recently? Have you stopped? Send in the jobs report from your town to info [at] aamfg [dot] org, tweet it to us at @KeepItMadeinUSA, or contact us via Facebook. And read the report right here.

Have a great Friday, America. The Early Shift will be taking a break on Monday. See you Tuesday!

-AAM

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