After an economic downturn, it’s always a relief to see industries buoy back to its pre-recession numbers. If you’re looking for good news in the manufacturing industry, there’s a lot of it. And while it’s nice to see some recovery, there are ways to bolster manufacturing’s rise.
American manufacturing is on the rise. According to the latest figures from the Labor Department, the nation’s factories added 50,000 jobs in January—their strongest showing in a year—on top of 32,000 jobs in December.
Overall, employers added 243,000 jobs in January, the most in nine months. Manufacturing was the second-biggest gainer, behind professional and business services.
Employment numbers aren’t the only indication that manufacturing activity is picking up. According to the Institute for Supply Management, growth in new factory orders rose to a nine-month high in January. And, vehicle sales in January rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14.2 million, the briskest pace in several years.
However, U.S. manufacturers are not out of the woods yet. Although the sector added 404,000 jobs from January 2010 to January 2012, it’s still down 3 million jobs from January 2003. And, the 11.8 million manufacturing jobs tabulated in January 2012 is still a fraction of the peak level of 19.5 million in 1979. […]
Keeping the U.S. manufacturing sector on the upswing will require the coordinated action of business, labor, academia and government. Just such a plan was published in December by the Council on Competitiveness. Based in Washington, DC, the council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to elevating U.S. productivity and leadership in world markets and raising the standard of living for all Americans.
What are your thoughts on the manufacturing market? Do you agree with the article’s five points of action? Or is there something you would add?
To read the full Assembly Magazine article, click here.