GM to Invest $1 Billion in U.S. Manufacturing Operations

GM to Invest $1 Billion in U.S. Manufacturing Operations

Apr 24, 2017

By Design-2-Part Magazine DETROIT—General Motors (GM) will invest an additional $1 billion in U.S. manufacturing operations that include multiple new vehicle, advanced technology, and component projects, the company announced recently. Details of individual projects will be announced throughout the year, GM said in a press release. The company also announced it will begin work on insourcing axle production for its next generation full-size pickup trucks, including work previously done in Mexico, to operations in Michigan, creating 450 U.S. jobs. “As the U.S. manufacturing base increases its competitiveness, we are able to further increase our investment, resulting in more jobs for America and better results for our owners,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, in the release. “The U.S. is our home market and we are committed to growth that is good for our employees, dealers, and suppliers and supports our continued effort to drive shareholder value.” GM’s announcement is part of the company’s increased focus on overall efficiency over the last four years. With a strategy to streamline and simplify its operations and grow its business, GM reports that it has created 25,000 jobs in the U.S.—approximately 19,000 engineering, IT, and professional jobs and 6,000 hourly manufacturing jobs—and added nearly $3 billion in annual wages and benefits to the U.S. economy over that period. At the same time, GM reports that it has reduced more than 15,000 positions outside the U.S., bringing most of those jobs to America. During that period, the company says, it has moved from having outsourced 90 percent of its IT work outside the U.S., to an insourced U.S.-based model. “We will continue our commitment to driving a more efficient business,” said Barra, “as shown by our insourcing of more than 6,000 IT jobs that were formerly outside the U.S., streamlining our engineering operations from seven to three, with the core engineering center being in Warren, Michigan, and building on our momentum at GM Financial and in advanced technologies. These moves, and others, are expected to result in more than 5,000 new jobs in the U.S. over the next few years.” General Motors (www.gm.com) has also been facilitating its supplier base to do the same. The company has been executing...

Robots won’t take your job—they’ll help make room…

Robots won’t take your job—they’ll help make room…

Apr 21, 2017

“Robots won’t take your job—they’ll help make room for meaningful work instead” By TL Andrews, Quartz Unencumbered by the prospect of re-election, outgoing presidents tend to use their final speeches to candidly warn against threats they believe to be metastasizing in society. For example, George Washington spoke of the ills of hyper-partisanship and excessive debt. Dwight Eisenhower denounced the waxing power of the “military industrial complex.” President Barack Obama singled out an economic peril in his otherwise doggedly hopeful final address in Chicago: “The next wave of economic dislocations won’t come from overseas,” he said. “It will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes a lot of good, middle-class jobs obsolete.” Obama articulated a fear felt by many around the world: That all our jobs will eventually be done by robots. Research backs this fear: One study found that automation will threaten at least 47% of jobs in America and up to 85% in the rest of the world. But a number of economists are beginning to argue that this view of automation excludes a lot of the story. Putting automation in context To simply argue that automation is going to gobble up jobs ignores the potential for productivity gains. The Business Harvard Review found that the IT revolution led to 0.6% labor productivity growth and 1% of overall growth in Europe, the US, and Japan between 1995 and 2005. “It all hinges on demand,” says Jim Bessen, professor of economics at Boston University. If the productivity gains are enough to significantly boost demand, then job growth may be the result. This is especially true when new technologies create jobs that simply did not exist before, such as social-media managers. In those cases, any jobs created will make a net contribution to the labor market. Though automation will cost some jobs, it will also create many others. A case in point is the rollout of ATMs in the US. Introduced in the 1970s, the number of ATMs increased from 100,000 to 400,000 between 1995 and 2010. Running an ATM is cheaper than paying a teller’s salary, so as ATMs became more numerous relative to tellers, the overall cost of each bank branch came down. As it became cheaper to operate a...

Manufacturing Adds 11K Jobs in March, All in Durable Goods

Manufacturing Adds 11K Jobs in March, All in Durable Goods

Apr 10, 2017

By Bill Koenig, AdvancedManufacturing.org Manufacturing added 11,000 jobs in March, with all of the net gain taking place in durable goods. Fabricated metal products led the increase, with a gain of 5500 jobs, according to a breakdown by industry issued today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also contributing to the increase was the motorized vehicles and parts category, with a gain of 3000 jobs. Miscellaneous manufacturing posted an increase of 2000 jobs. The largest job loser among makers of durable goods was the machinery category, down 2600 jobs. Manufacturing totaled 12.392 million jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis last month. That’s up from an adjusted 12.381 million in February and 12.355 million in March 2016. Manufacturing showed signs of recovery in 2017’s first quarter. The Institute for Supply Management (Tempe, AZ) said earlier this week that its PMI, which measures economic activity in manufacturing, was 57.2% in March. That eased a bit from the February PMI of 57.7%. Still, March still marked the seventh consecutive month of economic expansion for the manufacturing index. A PMI above 50% indicates manufacturing expansion, below that level indicates contraction. The PMI has averaged 53.2% the past 12 months. The index is based on a survey of purchasing and supply executives in 18 industries. Non-Farm Employment What’s more, durable goods outperformed the overall US economy in job activity last month. Total non-farm employment advanced by 98,000 jobs last month, the bureau said in a statement. Economists surveyed by Reuters forecast a gain of 180,000 jobs. The US unemployment rate fell to 4.5% in March from 4.7% the month before. The March total job increase marked a slowdown from the year’s first two months, when job gains exceeded 200,000 each month. Manufacturing jobs peaked in June 1979 (19.6 million on a seasonally adjusted basis, 19.7 million unadjusted). That sank to a low of 11.45 million adjusted and 11.34 million unadjusted in February 2010 following a severe recession caused by the 2008 financial crisis. Since that low, new manufacturing jobs have been created requiring increased skills because of more automation and technology in factories....

US manufacturing expanded in March

US manufacturing expanded in March

Apr 6, 2017

By Vicki Needham, The Hill U.S. manufacturing expanded in March for the the seventh straight month, although at a slower pace than in February, a new survey shows. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said Monday that their latest index fell slightly to 57.2 last month from 57.7 the previous month, which was the highest level in more than two years. Any reading above 50 is a sign of growth. New orders and production continued to expand, but more slowly, in March, while hiring and new export orders grew faster, ISM reported. New orders were at 64.5 in March, a drop from 65.1 in February, while production posted a 57.6 in March down from 62.9 in February. Employment hit 58.9 in March, an increase from February’s 54.2 percent — the sixth consecutive month of growth and the highest reading since June 2011.  The new orders index hit 59 in March, up 4 points from February’s 55, the 13th straight month of growth and the best showing since November 2013. Manufacturing added 28,000 jobs in February, the most in a year and the third straight month of growth in the sector, according to Labor Department figures. The next government jobs report is set for release on Friday. Manufacturers are expressing record levels of optimism because of the Trump administration’s plans to cut regulations they argue have weighed on their businesses. Comments from respondents ranged from “business is strong and looking up” in the furniture industry to “looking relatively flat currently, and the view for calendar year 2017 looks to be flat as well” for transportation equipment firms. ...

“Eliminate the Trade Deficit” Resonates in Halls of Congress

“Eliminate the Trade Deficit” Resonates in Halls of Congress

Mar 22, 2017

By Michele Nash-Hoff, Savingusmanufacturing.com  “You were ahead of the curve on trade.” This was the common refrain heard last week by members of the Coalition for a Prosperous America who attended our annual fly-in to Washington, D. C. We had eight teams of members visiting Congressional Representatives and Senators on March 14th and 15th. As Chair of our developing California chapter, it was my fifth year attending the CPA fly-in, and our simple message of eliminating the trade deficit resonated well in the halls of Congress. No one could deny that we have a huge deficit as shown on the chart below: The annual trade deficit has reduced our U. S. GDP by some 3% to 5.5% each year, and those reductions compound over time. There is no historical record of any other country in history running 41 years of consecutive trade deficits. Why is this important? Because every billion dollars of net imports costs 4,500 American jobs according to conservative estimates. So last year’s $502 billion deficit equates to 2.25 million jobs lost. As a result, our Labor Force Participation is in serious decline. The U. S. is the only G7 nation with a DECLINE in LFPR since 1998 for workers ages 15-64. It peaked at 77.4% in 1998 and dropped down five points to 72.6% in 2015, meaning that over 7 million people dropped out of labor force since 1998. The remedy recommended by the Coalition for a Prosperous America is simple:  Congress should establish a national goal to eliminate the trade deficit. Balanced trade over time is the goal of free trade and of fair trade. Balanced trade will re-industrialize our country, enable massive job creation, grow our wealth and effectively neutralize foreign mercantilism. Trade policy must address true drivers of deficit, these countries and their practices. Many of these countries have export-oriented growth strategies in which they rely upon the US market to consume their exports rather than increasing their internal consumption. China, Germany, Japan and other countries pursue net exports through strategic mercantilism, not free trade. Currency manipulation, value added taxes, state influenced enterprises, and other tactics are used. The following top 10 countries account for 90% of America’s...