Jobs surge in April, unemployment rate falls to the lowest…

Jobs surge in April, unemployment rate falls to the lowest…

May 3, 2019

“Jobs surge in April, unemployment rate falls to the lowest since 1969” By Jeff Cox, CNBC The U.S. jobs machine kept humming along in April, adding a robust 263,000 new hires while the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, the lowest in a generation, the Labor Department reported Friday. Nonfarm payroll growth easily beat Wall Street expectations of 190,000 and a 3.8% jobless rate. Average hourly earnings growth held at 3.2% over the past year, a notch below Dow Jones estimates of 3.3%. The monthly gain was 0.2%, below the expected 0.3% increase, bringing the average to $27.77. The average work week also dropped 0.1 hours to 34.4 hours. Unemployment was last this low in December 1969 when it hit 3.5%. At a time when many economists see a tight labor market, big job growth continues as the economic expansion is just a few months away from being the longest in history.   The unemployment rate for Asians fell sharply, plunging from 3.1% to 2.2%. While last month’s slump in the jobless rate came with strong increase in hiring, it also was helped along by a sharp decline in the labor force of 490,000. That brought the labor force participation rate down to 62.8%, exactly where it was a year ago. A broader unemployment gauge that includes those who have quit looking for jobs as well as the underemployed held at 7.3%, where it has been since February. Those counted as not in the labor force surged by 646,000 to a fresh high of 96.2 million. “Leaving aside month-to-month fluctuations, the labor market is still very strong, adding almost double the number of workers needed to keep pace with new entrants to the labor force in any given month,” said Eric Winograd, AllianceBernstein’s senior economist. “Wages may have been slightly tepid this month relative to expectations but are still growing at just about the highest rate this cycle, and the unemployment rate is at multi-generational lows.” The level of unemployed people plunged by 387,000 in April, bringing the total level to 5.8 million. However, the ranks of the employed also declined by 103,000, according to the Labor Department’s household survey. Professional and business services led...

Ford cancels Mexico plant, expands U.S. factory and…

Ford cancels Mexico plant, expands U.S. factory and…

Apr 23, 2019

“Ford cancels Mexico plant, expands U.S. factory and adds 700 jobs” By Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY Ford Motor announced Tuesday that it would cancel plans for a $1.6 billion Mexico plant and launch a Michigan expansion in a move that may be viewed as a capitulation to Donald Trump. Ford CEO Mark Fields said the company would spend $700 million and add 700 jobs to “transform and expand” its Flat Rock, Mich. manufacturing plant to make autonomous and electric vehicles. “Make no mistake about it — Ford is a global automaker but our home is right here in the United States,” Fields said at a press conference. The move marks a sharp reversal for Ford, which has defended its production in Mexico even as Trump has assailed the company for expanding there. “This is a vote of confidence for President-elect Trump and some of the policies he may be pursuing,” Fields said. To be sure, Ford acknowledged that it would still move production of the next-generation Focus sedan to Mexico, as previously announced. But it will be built at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, not at a new facility. President-elect Donald Trump is going after General Motors giving them an ultimatum when it comes to manufacturing across the border. Veuer’s Nick Cardona tells us what the President-elect had to say. Buzz60 The United Auto Workers hailed the decision. “We’ve seen our jobs go overseas,” UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles said. “It’s evident today that Ford is rewarding us for our hard work.” Others will view the move as a bid to satisfy Trump, who has cited Ford’s Mexico expansion as a key example of how the North American Free Trade Agreement has weakened American manufacturing. Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford called Trump this morning to inform the president-elect of the decision, and Fields called incoming Vice President Mike Pence. “Automakers are facing a situation where they have to consider the political consequences” of all their decisions, AutoTrader.com analyst Michelle Krebs said. Ford’s expansion will convert 700 temporary jobs at the Michigan plant into permanent positions, adding to an existing hourly staff of about 3,600. Fields said the automaker will add about 200 jobs at its plant in Hermosillo, Mexico,...

Manufacturers Added 6 Times More Jobs Under Trump Than…

Manufacturers Added 6 Times More Jobs Under Trump Than…

Feb 4, 2019

“Manufacturers Added 6 Times More Jobs Under Trump Than Under Obama’s Last 2 Years”   By Chuck DeVore, Forbes The federal government released its first jobs report of 2019, showing that nonfarm payroll grew by 304,000 in January, far above economists’ consensus estimate of 170,000. The average monthly gain in 2018 was 223,000. Over the past year, average hourly earnings were up 3.2%. After revising its data for past periods, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment grew by 5.1 million jobs in President Trump’s first full two years in office, a 3.5% increase. Private sector payrolls grew by 4.9 million, a 4.0% increase. By comparison, over the same 24-month period, the economy added 5.0 million jobs in former President Obama’s last two years in office, with private sector employment up by 4.7 million. Significantly, growth in manufacturing jobs continued to show strength, with 13,000 jobs added in January. Over the past two years, with the encouragement of the Trump Administration’s red-tape cutting policies and the tax cut and reform law passed in December 2017, manufacturers added 467,000 jobs, more than six times the 73,000 manufacturing jobs added in Obama’s last two years. Looking at Trump’s first two years, the revised BLS data shows that more than two manufacturing jobs were added for every one job added in government at the federal, state, and local level. In contrast, under Obama, almost five government jobs were added for every one manufacturing job. Since Pres. Trump took office in January 2017, employment in manufacturing has increased 3.7%. Over the same period during the last two years under Pres. Obama, manufacturing payrolls grew by only 0.6%. The sluggish growth in manufacturing in the latter half of the Obama years led to President Obama remarking in June 2016 that manufacturing jobs “are just not going to come back.” Weeks after Trump’s election—and in response to candidate Trump’s promise to bring back manufacturing jobs—New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, an economist, said, “Nothing policy can do will bring back those lost jobs. The service sector is the future of work; but nobody wants to hear it.” Trump’s deregulatory and tax policies have confounded his critics and benefited the...

Trump hypes jobs relocating back to the US. Are they?

Trump hypes jobs relocating back to the US. Are they?

Jan 4, 2019

By Jason Margolis, Public Radio International (PRI) President Donald Trump once named his style of elocution “truthful hyperbole” — what he described as a form of promotion to get people excited. One area the president currently likes to pump up is foreign jobs coming back to the United States. “We have literally hundreds of companies moving back,” President Trump said in November, repeating a statement that’s become a major talking point.   But is this another instance of truthful hyperbole? Are hundreds of companies indeed shifting production back to the US? “I’d say 300, 400, at least, announced in 2017,” said Harry Moser, president of the Reshoring Initiative, a nonprofit that tracks jobs coming back to the US.  OK, score one for the president.  But is a few hundred companies significant? “I would call this movement right now a trickle,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. There’s considerable debate over how to measure any reshoring trends and very little data available. It’s often not as simple as a company closing a factory in China and reopening it in Ohio. Moser, for example, includes “partial shifts” of jobs, whereas some other research only includes shifts of entire businesses, and thus, have reached less optimistic conclusions about reshoring trends. What is clear, however, said Paul, is that the US is seeing more companies that rely on cheap energy — now in abundance in the US — coming back. “That includes some types of chemical processing, some types of plastics,” said Paul. “I’ve also seen jobs come back in everything from auto parts to textiles in jeans.” Paul said this trend began about a decade ago. Moser, who also assists companies with information about the benefits of shifting work to the US, said President Barack Obama got the ball rolling. “He [President Obama] used to call it ‘insourcing,’” said Moser. “He started a program of increasing our skilled workforce of apprenticeship programs and certificates. He did many useful things.” According to Moser’s research, things have picked up under Trump, with work largely shifting away mostly from China and other parts of Asia. “In 2017, companies announced 170,000 manufacturing jobs coming back from offshore, up 50 percent from 2016.” (This includes both reshoring and foreign direct investment jobs.)  So, what’s driving this? Let’s...

Ford Opens $45M Advanced Manufacturing Center

Ford Opens $45M Advanced Manufacturing Center

Dec 18, 2018

By Jeff Reinke, ThomasNet Redford, Michigan, is the new home of Ford’s Advanced Manufacturing Center, focused on improving the company’s approach to building cars and trucks. The $45 million complex houses 100 experts working on integration strategies for various cutting-edge manufacturing technologies, including 3D printing, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), robotics, and digital manufacturing. The Advanced Manufacturing Center contains 23 3D printing machines, and Ford is working with 10 3D manufacturing companies to develop applications with a range of different materials, from nylon powder to sand to carbon. One application currently under development could save the company more than $2 million. The soon-to-be-released Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 features two 3D-printed brake parts, while the F-150 Raptor includes a 3D-printed interior part. The company believes that as this technology becomes more economical, the use of such parts will become more and more prevalent. Assembly line workers at the Michigan Assembly Plant, where Ford builds the Ranger pickup, use five different 3D-printed tools that played a critical role in the launch of the Ranger. In fact, the company says that these tools knocked off weeks from an already tight timeline. Ford is also banking on augmented and virtual reality to help in simulating and designing assembly lines. By donning specialized gaming equipment, engineers can configure a virtual reality production line without leaving the Center, allowing engineers to identify potentially unsafe processes and fine-tune workflows long before an assembly line is put into play. AR and VR can also allow manufacturing teams to work collaboratively in facilities around the world, meaning employees on different continents could work in the same virtual space, at the same time. Finally, the new facility will allow the company to optimize the use of collaborative robots. Ford has more than 100 of them in 24 plants globally. For instance, at the Livonia Transmission Plant in Michigan, a co-bot performs a job that was so ergonomically difficult for employees that they could only perform that task for one hour at a time. The co-bot was a welcome addition to the production line. These co-bots also help the automaker reduce costs by eliminating the safety cages required by larger robots. Utilizing co-bots in...