Manufacturing Jobs ‘Roaring Back’?

Manufacturing Jobs ‘Roaring Back’?

Jan 12, 2018

By Eugene Kiely, FactCheck.org Vice President Mike Pence touted the latest jobs report as proof that “manufacturing is roaring back.” The previous administration made a similar claim, but experts then and now said it’s premature to declare a manufacturing renaissance. The economy added 196,000 manufacturing jobs last year — the most in any year since 2014, when the economy added 208,000 manufacturing jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the manufacturing sector has yet to fully recover from the Great Recession. As of December 2017, there were 12.5 million manufacturing jobs – 1.2 million fewer than there were in December 2007, when the recession started, BLS data show. At last year’s growth rate, it would take until nearly 2023 just to recover the jobs lost during the recession. Pence made his remarks in an interview with the conservative radio show host Dana Loesch. “Look at the jobs numbers that were just released last week — manufacturing is roaring back,” he said. The employment figures released on Jan. 5 showed an increase of 25,000 manufacturing jobs in December. That resulted, as we said, in a net gain for the year of 196,000 jobs. That was much better than in 2016, when the economy lost 16,000 manufacturing jobs. But it was not as good as 2011 or 2014, when the economy added a little more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs in each of those years. Pence’s declaration of a manufacturing comeback reminded us of when his Democratic predecessor, Joe Biden, boasted in 2012 that “manufacturing is back” after a few years of job growth. But, as we wrote at the time, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation dismissed such talk as premature. Rob Atkinson, founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, tells us it is still premature. Atkinson, co-author of a 2015 report called “The Myth of America’s Manufacturing Renaissance: The Real State of U.S. Manufacturing,” said that being 1.2 million short of the pre-recession jobs level is just one indication that manufacturing is not back. “Even more telling,” Atkinson told us, “the U.S. is producing less manufacturing output in the second quarter of 2017 than it did in the last quarter of 2007,” when the recession started. “Almost 10 years and NO growth in real...

Thor Industries CEO on the manufacturing boom in the U.S.

Thor Industries CEO on the manufacturing boom in the U.S.

Dec 4, 2017

  Featured on Fox Business Thor Industries CEO Bob Martin on the manufacturing industry and the company’s latest quarterly earnings report.         Watch the latest video at...

Making Manufacturing Great Again Would Add $530 Billion…

Making Manufacturing Great Again Would Add $530 Billion…

Nov 28, 2017

“Making Manufacturing Great Again Would Add $530 Billion to GDP” By Andrew Soergel, Economy Reporter, U.S. News  A new report suggests investments in today’s manufacturing operations could carry hundreds of billions of dollars in economic payoffs. The U.S. manufacturing sector has weathered a bumpy road over the course of the past two decades – but successfully righting the country’s industrial ship would mean an economic windfall of $530 billion, according to a new report from The McKinsey Global Institute. McKinsey put out a lengthy report last week profiling the past several years of U.S. manufacturing malaise – noting that only a few sectors, like “pharmaceuticals, electronics and aerospace” have emerged relatively unscathed. “Some industries staged a modest demand-driven recovery between 2010 and 2015. But growth in overall U.S. manufacturing output has been slowing for two decades, with little net increase during the most recent decade,” the report said. “Today there are roughly 25 percent fewer U.S. manufacturing firms and plants than there were in 1997, reflecting not only closures but also fewer manufacturing startups. Along the way, the sector has shed roughly one-third of its jobs.” The sector’s decline has been bad news for America’s international standing, as “low-cost contract manufacturers in locations such as Mexico, China, Vietnam and Bangladesh” gained market share. It’s also contributed to an erosion of the U.S. middle class, eaten away at economic growth and – along with a rise in automation – contributed to significant job losses. There were more than 5 million fewer manufacturing workers in the U.S. last month than there were 20 years prior in October 1997, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Smaller manufacturers, in particular, have suffered, while larger operations have in many cases managed to navigate the complicated international industrial waters. “Many Americans long for a return to the glory days of the 1960s and ’70s, when manufacturing jobs were the bedrock of the middle class and the United States led the world in industrial output,” the study said, in some ways reminiscent of President Donald Trump’s call to restore manufacturing’s prominent role in the economy. The report makes no reference to Trump or his call for a manufacturing renaissance. But...

Tech Advances Drive Manufacturing Investments Back to U.S.

Tech Advances Drive Manufacturing Investments Back to U.S.

Oct 30, 2017

By Andrew Soergel, Economy Reporter, U.S. News Advances in artificial intelligence and industrial production are reshaping the world’s manufacturing landscape. Manufacturing at long last is enjoying a revitalization in the U.S. as companies from around the world invest in the country’s operations – a key development in President Donald Trump’s quest to make America great again. But presidential policies may not be the primary driver of the manufacturing shift back to the U.S. – and an industrial return isn’t expected to create nearly the same number of jobs that factory floors maintained in decades past. It appears to be technological innovations, rather than policies or an availability of labor, driving the manufacturing renaissance. And with operational advances extending well beyond the reaches of Silicon Valley and into Rust Belt communities in the Northeast and Midwest, many believe the country is well-positioned to be a leader in advanced manufacturing for years to come. “The reason is, candidly, it’s less about the manufacturing people. It’s more about the technology,” Mike Marusic, COO of Sharp Electronics, said Wednesday during an event hosted by Bloomberg. Marusic said Sharp is one of several companies that has chosen to increase investment in the U.S. rather than seeking out “traditional manufacturing places” like China and Thailand in recent years. Other companies include medical device manufacturer Insulet – which broke ground last month on a new central Massachusetts facility that’s expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the area after spending several years operating a production outfit in China – and General Electric, which has tweaked investment plans in recent years to funnel more resources into U.S. facilities rather than in countries with historically lower labor costs like Mexico and China. Even Foxconn, a Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer that helps assemble popular products like iPhones, recently announced plans to build a Wisconsin facility and develop operations in the U.S., despite its proximity to what have historically been considered countries with cheap labor. The Reshoring Initiative advocacy group estimates 338,000 jobs migrated to the U.S. from overseas between 2010 and 2016. The country on net is estimated to have gained 25,000 manufacturing positions last year – meaning more jobs returned to the U.S. than were offshored in 2016 for the first net gain in years. At...

U.S. Reshoring: A Collaborative Challenge

U.S. Reshoring: A Collaborative Challenge

Oct 23, 2017

Feature in Design-2-Part Magazine Manufacturing Experts Answer 5 Questions on How to Turn the Tide FAIRPORT HARBOR, Ohio—North America’s $137 billion metalforming industry is driven by the production of myriad precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming, and roll forming technologies, as well as vital value-added processes. In recent decades, approximately 3-to-4 million U.S. manufacturing jobs were lost to offshoring. The tide seems to be turning modestly in recent years as companies return U.S. production, or sourcing, from offshore. In comparison to 2000-2003, when the United States lost about 220,000 manufacturing jobs per year (net) to offshoring, 2016 achieved a net gain of 27,000. Progressively bridging this gap presents huge collaborative opportunities and challenges for all manufacturers, associations, employees, communities, and the U.S. government itself. The following Q&A explores factors that are key to the collective goal of gaining momentum in successfully returning the manufacturing of parts and products to the United States from offshore. Authors of the Q&A are two men with a vested interest in the subject of reshoring: John Stoneback, president of JM Performance Products, Inc., of Fairport Harbor, Ohio; and Harry Moser, president of the Reshoring Initiative, based in Kildeer, Illinois. JM Performance Products, Inc. has been manufacturing CNC mill spindle optimization products since 2009. The company’s Patented High Torque Retention Knobs overcome a critical “loose-tool” design flaw inherent in CNC v-flange tooling that was responsible for costly, industry-wide issues with CNC milling and boring that negatively impacted production costs, cycle time, and tooling costs. An essential element of the patented design is a knob that is longer and reaches a little deeper into the holder’s threaded bore. As a result, all thread engagement occurs in a region of the tool holder where the diameter is large, and where there is correspondingly more material to resist deformation. The Reshoring Initiative, founded in early 2010, takes action by helping manufacturers realize that local production, in many cases, reduces their total cost of ownership of purchased parts and tooling. The Reshoring Initiative also trains suppliers in how to effectively meet the needs of their local customers, giving suppliers the tools to sell against lower priced offshore competitors. The Initiative is...