US nonfarm payrolls total 222,000 in June vs 179,000 expected

US nonfarm payrolls total 222,000 in June vs 179,000 expected

Jul 7, 2017

By Jeff Cox, CNBC Nonfarm payrolls jumped 222,000 in June, against expectations of 179,000. However, wage growth was muted, with average hourly earnings up 2.5 percent on an annualized basis. The U.S. economy added a better-than-expected 222,000 new jobs in June and the unemployment rate held at 4.4 percent, according to a government report Friday. Economists surveyed by Reuters had been expecting nonfarm payrolls growth of 179,000 and the unemployment rate to be 4.3 percent.   Wage growth, however, remained muted, with average hourly earnings rising 2.5 percent on an annualized basis, essentially unchanged from the previous month. On a monthly basis, the rise was 0.2 percent, which actually was a shade below the 0.2 percent expectation. The average work week edged higher, rising 0.1 hours to 34.5. The report “is another illustration that the real economy is in good health,” said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics. “The only disappointment is that wage growth still shows few signs of accelerating.” The jump in payrolls came following a disappointing May that saw an increase of just 152,000. However, even that number was revised up from an initially reported 138,000, and April was revised upward as well, from 174,000 to 207,000. Employment gains have averaged 180,000 per month in 2017, a shade below the 187,000 in 2016. Health care was the biggest contributor, with 37,000 new positions, with professional and business services adding 35,000. Social assistance added 23,000, Wall Street-related jobs grew by 17,000 and mining — a focal point for the Trump administration — saw 8,000 new positions. An alternative measure of unemployment that counts discouraged workers and those holding part-time positions for economic reasons — the underemployed — rose from 8.4 percent to 8.6 percent. The labor-force participation rate edged higher to 62.8 percent.Those considered out of the labor force declined by 170,000 to 94.8 million while the labor force increased by 361,000 to 160.1 million. The employment population ratio rose to 60.1 percent, a full half percentage point above its level from a year ago. Jobs overall tilted to full-time positions, which grew by 355,000, while part-time fell by 224,000. Investors watched the report both for headline numbers and for...

AI Will Amplify The Manufacturing Workforce

AI Will Amplify The Manufacturing Workforce

Jul 5, 2017

By Jeff Kavanaugh, Manufacturing Business Technology Every day, we hear of new examples of artificial intelligence (AI) being used to support, or supplant, the human workforce. Many of these discussions revolve around consumer-facing situations. However, the AI wave could have an even larger impact on the manufacturing sector, with its complex processes and machine-to-machine interactions spanning products and assets, within factories and across global supply networks. This was highlighted in a recent study that investigated the approach of senior decision-makers in large organizations toward AI and its future applications. Consider the digitization of factories. Flush with data from a sensor-enabled landscape, they’ve had a chance to join the ranks of the information intelligentsia and effectively drive rich floor output. Unfortunately, some in the manufacturing sector have ignored or even denied the disruptive impact of digital technologies. It took leaders like GE to envision how the Industrial Internet could become real for manufacturers.  Smart Manufacturers are Automating Data According to Oxford Economics, the Industrial Internet, with its connected sensors, represents more than 60 percent of the gross domestic product for the top 20 national economies. So for those using data automation to make more informed decisions, the opportunity — and also competition — is exploding with the emerging Industrial Internet binding products, equipment, and systems in a web of communication. Eventually, Industrial IoT will permeate global supply chains, allowing manufacturers to accelerate product launch, coordinate demand-supply planning, and optimize production, in ways not possible without such advanced collaboration. Currently, the Industrial Internet is still in early development, but early adopters are seeing anecdotal successes as proof of concept projects continue to mount.  Smart Manufacturers Can Automate Processes, too The recent Infosys study, Ampliyfing Human Potential: Towards Purposeful Artificial Intelligence, surveyed 1,600 IT and business decision-makers from organizations of more than 1,000 employees with $500M or more annual revenue and from a range of sectors. The research was carried out in the U.S. and six other manufacturing and industrial nations. It found companies planning to or currently using AI technology, such as robotics, anticipate a nearly 40 percent boost to their organization’s revenue by 2020. The economics of investing in robotic efficiencies is not lost on manufacturers. An example is...

Exclusive: GM CEO Mary Barra says the world needs more…

Exclusive: GM CEO Mary Barra says the world needs more…

Jun 30, 2017

“Exclusive: GM CEO Mary Barra says the world needs more coders” By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNNMoney A lot of resources go into building cars, like steel, aluminum, rubber and glass. Also critical: Brains. But the engineering talent and computer coding skills that the industry needs is in short supply. That’s why General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced a new push to train engineers on Wednesday in New York City. The effort is specifically aimed at recruiting women and minorities. GM has long helped train engineers. Barra earned a degree in electrical engineering from General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan — now Kettering University — an engineering and business school that was, at the time, operated by GM. “A car today has hundreds of millions of lines of code,” Barra said in an exclusive interview with CNN. “We do see a shortage if we don’t address this and I mean fully fundamentally. Every child needs to have these skills.” “A car today has hundreds of millions of lines of code,” Barra said in an exclusive interview with CNN. “We do see a shortage if we don’t address this and I mean fully fundamentally. Every child needs to have these skills.” So GM (GM) is working with groups that will train teachers and work with students from grade school on up for jobs in computer engineering, Barra said at Cadillac’s global headquarters in the West Village. In Detroit, there are currently three times as many job openings in computer programming as there are in manufacturing, said Hadi Partovi, founder of Code.org, which is one of the groups that GM is teaming up with. Code.org creates online computer programming lessons and works with schools to build computer literacy curricula. The group boasts that almost half of its 19 million online course participants are members of minority groups and that 9 million of them are girls. GM announced Wednesday it’s giving $200,000 to $250,000 each to Code.org and three other national groups that promote computer literacy GM is also working with Black Girls Code, a group that aims to increase the number of African-American women in the technology industry. Specifically, GM is helping Black Girls Code to start a chapter in the Detroit area. Another...

Inspired by Trump, Samsung in Talks to Open South Carolina…

Inspired by Trump, Samsung in Talks to Open South Carolina…

Jun 26, 2017

“Inspired by Trump, Samsung in Talks to Open South Carolina Factory” By Timothy W. Martin, Wall Street Journal South Korean electronics giant would move some oven-range production to Newberry, S.C., facility from Mexico SEOUL— Samsung Electronics Co. is in late-stage discussions to invest about $300 million to expand its U.S. production facilities at a factory soon to be vacated by Caterpillar Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, with an announcement expected as early as next week. The facility eyed by Samsung is in Newberry, S.C., a town located about 150 miles northwest of the port of Charleston, the people said, with plans to shift over some production of oven ranges made currently in Mexico. The investment could generate around 500 jobs, and though the start date is unclear, production would likely begin next year, the people said. Samsung could eventually ramp up U.S. manufacturing of refrigerators, washers, dryers and other home appliances in subsequent years, the people said. Final details over incentives and other matters are still being hammered out between Samsung and South Carolina officials, the people said. Though unlikely, it is still possible for either party to walk away from the pact, the people said. The timing of the announcement could still change, the people said. But South Korea’s newly-elected President Moon Jae-in is scheduled to meet U.S. President Donald Trump for the first time next week in Washington. A Samsung spokeswoman declined to comment. Samsung’s interest in a U.S. factory was influenced by the election of Mr. Trump, who vowed on the campaign trail to bring more manufacturing jobs back into the country, The Wall Street Journal reported in March. Mr. Trump’s reshoring mantra brought promises from Asian billionaires such as SoftBank Group’s Masayoshi Son and Foxconn Technology ’s Terry Gou. Foxconn, the assembler of iPhones and other electronics, said Thursday it was considering seven states in the American heartland to invest $10 billion or more in factories. Samsung’s crosstown rival LG Electronics Inc. said in February it planned to build a new factory for washing machines in Tennessee, its first major U.S. plant. Samsung had previously said that it started reviewing U.S. options in the early fall last year,...

Reshoring Initiative: Automation is Not the Bad Guy

Reshoring Initiative: Automation is Not the Bad Guy

Jun 22, 2017

By Anna Wells, Industrial Equipment News Automation has long carried the blame for the outflow of jobs from the manufacturing sector, but the Reshoring Initiative says that it is actually key to job growth in the U.S. The Reshoring Initiative is reporting that, for the first time in decades, more manufacturing jobs are returning to the United States than are going offshore. According to a recent press release promoting the Reshoring Initiative’s 2016 Reshoring Report, the combined reshoring and foreign direct investment (FDI) trends grew by over 10 percent in 2016, adding 77,000 jobs and exceeding the rate of offshoring by about 27,000 jobs. “The 2016 results bring the total number of manufacturing jobs brought back from offshore to more than 338,000 since the manufacturing employment low of February 2010,” said the release, adding that there are still “huge opportunities and challenges to bringing back all the 3 to 4 million manufacturing jobs cumulatively lost to offshoring.” Secretly, I’ve always wondered if these kinds of stats were a little overhyped – playing into our desires to latch on to a feel-good story with a positive trajectory. But when the Reshoring Initiative takes a deeper dive into the “whys” of reshoring, they make a pretty compelling case that is clearly resonating. Some of the reasons they cite for the ramp-up include things like proximity to customers, government incentives, skilled workforce availability and “ecosystem synergies,” which I take to mean that intangible of culture that drives so many successful businesses. Transportation equipment remained the strongest industry, accounting for nearly 40 percent of total jobs returned, and plastics/rubber and furniture saw the largest increases in industry ranking. Preliminary 2017 data trends are looking to be at least as good as 2016, but it certainly begs the question as to how we can sustain this activity over time. The Reshoring Initiative believes that government plays a big role, but also, in a recent e-newsletter, has pointed to an unlikely champion: automation. For years, automation has been carrying the blame, rightfully or not, for the outflow of jobs from the manufacturing sector. But the Reshoring Initiative takes a different tact, going so far as to say that automation is...