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Key Takeaways: The manufacturing job market continues to show signs of strength, with the sector adding 14,000 workers in February. Since the end of 2016, manufacturers have hired nearly 14,700 each month—a robust pace. In the larger economy, nonfarm payrolls were up by 235,000 in February, well above the consensus estimate of around 195,000.


ADP said that manufacturers added 14,000 workers in February, once again extending the strong job gains in the sector as production and the overall outlook have improved substantially. Indeed, manufacturing business leaders have hired at a robust rate since the end of 2016, averaging nearly 14,700 per month over the past 14 months. In contrast, manufacturing employment was more sluggish in 2016, illustrating the turnaround in the labor market since then. More importantly, we expect continued strength in job growth moving forward.

Meanwhile, total nonfarm private employment increased by 235,000 in February, easing from 244,000 workers added in January but notably better than the consensus estimate of around 195,000. As a reference, nonfarm private payrolls have risen by 193,097 per month on average since the end of 2016, up from a monthly average of nearly 172,500 in 2016.

In February, the largest employment growth included leisure and hospitality (up 50,000), professional and business services (up 46,000), trade, transportation and utilities (up 44,000), education and health services (up 43,000), construction (up 21,000) and financial activities (up 9,000). Employment in the information sector fell by 1,000 for the month. Small and medium-sized businesses (i.e., those with fewer than 500 employees) accounted for 70.2 percent of the net job growth for the month.

On Friday, we would expect to see similar labor market strength in the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with the current consensus indicating an increase of around 205,000 nonfarm payrolls in February. In addition, we would anticipate continued healthy job growth for manufacturers. In the BLS data, the sector added 15,000 workers in January, extending the average of 15,750 per month seen in 2017.

The post ADP: Manufacturers Added 14,000 Workers in February, Averaging 14,700 Per Month since 2016 appeared first on Shopfloor.

In recent years, some people have tried to use energy as an issue to divide Americans and block progress. But that’s shortsighted.

Manufacturers have encouraged the development of energy resources and infrastructure construction not just because it creates jobs and generates state and local revenue, but because it provides Americans with an abundance of resources used to fuel our nation’s economy and give us a competitive advantage. The Dakota Access Pipeline, for example, has already created a rush of new jobs in North Dakota, and the state’s energy production is hitting record levels.

America’s investment in energy is paying off, according to a new report from the IEA:

The U.S. is likely to overtake Russia to become the world’s largest oil producer by 2023, accounting for most of the global growth in petroleum supplies, a top industry monitor said Monday.

U.S. crude production is expected to reach a record of 12.1 million barrels a day in 2023, up from 10.6 million a day this year, said the International Energy Agency, which advises governments and corporations on industry trends. American oil output will surge past Russia, currently the world’s largest crude producer at roughly 11 million barrels a day…

The IEA’s closely watched five-year forecast showed the U.S. hitting new strides in its oil and natural-gas boom, helped by technological advances, improved efficiency and a fragile recovery in oil prices that is encouraging shale companies to ramp up their drilling.

According to the report, the largest growth will come from the Permian Basin, an energy pool that lies under Texas and New Mexico.

Manufacturers use one-third of the energy consumed in this country and depend on a secure, affordable, reliable mix of energy resources to remain competitive. Renewable sources are growing quickly and diversifying the nation’s energy portfolio; our fleet of nuclear and hydro power plants cleanly and efficiently produce a substantial portion of the nation’s electricity; we have abundant supplies of coal, natural gas and oil; and advances in energy efficiency continue to save money. Technological innovation is making new resource production possible and supports millions of jobs, increasing household incomes, boosting trade and American competitiveness around the world.

There are encouraging signs on the horizon that the incredible growth we’ve seen over the past decade can continue when we make smart choices. That’s why manufacturers support the administration’s proposal  to expand assess to our shared resources on America’s Outer Continental Shelf. This proposal would increase the areas available for scientific discovery and exploration. Energy manufacturers like BP and Exxon Mobil have announced billions of dollars of investments in the U.S. in the coming years due to a friendly regulatory environment and tax reform. After years of delay, the Keystone Pipeline project has met critical hurdles and is expected to begin construction in 2019.

Rather than picking one energy source over another, we should harness American creativity and competitiveness to drive efficiency from all energy sources. By making use of all of our domestic resources, we can ensure the best environmental outcomes at the lowest costs. Fair access to energy makes us stronger. Manufacturers know that energy is an issue that can bring us together.

The post Report: U.S. Energy Production Hits Record Levels, Will Surpass Russia By 2023 appeared first on Shopfloor.

In another major win for manufacturers in Georgia, Swiss manufacturing company Gezolan has announced that it plans to expand its U.S. operations and build a $12 million production facility in Georgia:

 Swiss manufacturing company has chosen to expand its U.S. operations — and has chosen to do so in Gwinnett County, officials announced Tuesday.

Gezolan, which manufactures rubber granules commonly used in rubber flooring and other projects, will open a 60,000-square-foot facility off Hamilton Mill Road in the city of Buford. The facility will house the company’s U.S. manufacturing plant and operations.

While Gezolan did not specify how many new jobs the expansion will create, the company said it plans to hire new workers by the end of the year. The facility will be Gezolan’s first manufacturing plant in the United States.

“Our decision to expand in Gwinnett was fueled by our need to meet the current growth rate of the company and U.S. market, as well as the 15-year experience of one of our sister companies in Gwinnett,” Gezolan CEO Josep Roger said in a statement.

Gezolan is part of a growing number of companies nationwide announcing new manufacturing investments in 2018. Lumber manufacturer Canfor Corp is building a new $120 million mill in Georgia, and Martin Technologies announced last month that it plans to construct a new 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility and add 250 new jobs in Tennessee.

The post Gezolan Announces Plans To Construct New $12 Million Manufacturing Facility In Georgia appeared first on Shopfloor.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), in partnership with the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) led two Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) Hill Days on March 6 and 7 to build momentum on Capitol Hill behind a substantial investment in the country’s infrastructure. Over the last two days, representatives of manufacturers, organized labor, agriculture, retail, finance and local government held roughly 50 meetings with Congressional Leadership and members from the relevant authorizing committees. Some flew into DC from as far as Texas and Iowa to make the case for upgrades to our nation’s infrastructure systems.

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr authored an op-ed in The Hill, Manufacturing and construction are expanding and ready to take on infrastructure package. They said:

“In other words, if we want to keep the momentum going, then Washington needs to enact a substantial infrastructure package as soon as possible. It’s an important message and one we’re taking to Capitol Hill today as part of the Infrastructure Working Group, bringing together a wide range of viewpoints, from labor, to retail, to finance, to agriculture. We are united in our determination to demonstrate broad support for infrastructure and see the type of action we think is necessary.”

The IWG has been meeting monthly for the last year, hearing from key policymakers in Congress and the White House and discussing solutions to address our country’s inadequately funded infrastructure.  The group launched their first advocacy initiatives this year. At the beginning of this year’s congressional session, the NAM led an IWG letter signed by more than 100 business groups to the Republican and Democrat leaders in the House and Senate, urging them to develop and advance an infrastructure bill. These Hill Days brought that message directly to key members of the House and Senate.

There’s no doubt we need a substantial infrastructure investment. Republicans and Democrats both recognize that America’s economic competitiveness depends on first-rate infrastructure systems. Key manufacturing, retail and labor leaders made the following statements of support below:

David Farr, NAM Board Chair, Chairman and CEO, Emerson

“The time is now to work together to pass a targeted, substantial investment in modernizing our nation’s infrastructure that includes a more reliable, user-based funding stream to keep building roads, bridges, transit systems and highways far into the future. We can create more jobs, boost growth, save lives and help secure America’s mantle of economic leadership in the process. Manufacturers are all in to get infrastructure done, and we stand ready to do our part and build to win.”

Sean McGarvey, President, North America’s Building Trades Unions

“The Infrastructure Working Group Hill Days will allow Congressional leaders, both Republicans and Democrats, to hear from a broad and sizable coalition of stakeholders on the importance of investing in our nation’s infrastructure.  The state of our infrastructure presents a real challenge – the fourteen affiliated unions of North America’s Building Trades know it, and the American people know it.  It is now up to Congress to meet this challenge with a broad, robust, responsible bipartisan infrastructure package, and we are willing to work with our coalition partners and members of Congress to pass a bill that addresses our present infrastructure challenges and creates good job opportunities for the hard-working craft professionals of North America’s Building Trades Unions.”

Matthew Shay, President and CEO, National Retail Federation

“Representing some of the nation’s largest shippers, NRF continues to call on Congress to follow the President’s lead and act on infrastructure this year. If we keep kicking the can down the road, this urgent issue will become even more challenging and costly to address. We hope bipartisan discussions will produce the infrastructure solutions American retailers, workers and consumers have been waiting for.”

The NAM has been a national leader for years on infrastructure and enshrined manufacturers priorities in our “Building to Win” proposal. Manufacturers will continue to lead this push for results and work with lawmakers so that a bipartisan infrastructure investment makes it to the finish line.

The post Manufacturers Unite With Retail, Labor And More To Call For Infrastructure Bill appeared first on Shopfloor.

Companies like Martin Technologies, Gezolan, and IEC Electronics have announced new manufacturing investments in recent weeks. Now, Voestalpine Bohler joins them, announcing that they plan to build a new 138,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Portage, Indiana.

Voestalpine Bohler Welding Group, a global manufacturer of welding consumables, plans to invest $13.5 million in the facility:

The total investment in the Portage facility will be about $13.5 million, of which about $12.85 million will be for machinery and equipment. They received a personal property tax abatement on the machinery and equipment.

The company will produce welding consumables, including low and high alloyed welding wires and rods, for key industries such as the automotive industry at the Portage facility, Maletta said.

They anticipate employment of 25 skilled workers by the end of 2018 and 50 within the next three years.

There were 516,900 manufacturing employees in Indiana in 2016, employing 16.8 percent of the state’s workforce.

The post Voestalpine Bohler Plans New $13.5 Million Manufacturing Facility In Indiana, Creating 50 New Jobs appeared first on Shopfloor.

Manufacturers large and small are facing growing threats around the world to their intellectual property (IP), and need stronger, smarter U.S. government actions to protect it. Speaking today to an interagency U.S. government panel focused on global IP challenges, the NAM stressed that IP remains the lifeblood for American manufacturers, and fundamental to U.S. manufacturing, economic growth, and high-paying, high-skill jobs.

Today’s public hearing was convened by the Special 301 subcommittee as part of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s formal process for drafting its Special 301 report. The hearing follows the NAM’s February 6 detailed written submission that highlighted challenges facing manufacturers in nearly 50 countries around the world. USTR’s final report, slated for release next month, will identify actions taken by other countries that deny adequate and effective IP protection and enforcement. Notably, the report classifies countries into different categories based on the level of U.S. concern with their IP practices, triggering follow-up dialogue and action with specific countries.

In a statement today, NAM Director of International Business Policy Ryan Ong stated, “Innovation and intellectual property (IP) are crucial to that [U.S. economic] success, and the foundation of a globally competitive manufacturing base… These strong [IP] protections are critical for manufacturers of all sizes, but particularly for small-and medium-sized manufacturers, for whom the cost and complexity of defending their IP rights around the world can be prohibitively high.”

“Unsurprisingly, manufacturers face challenges in foreign markets from governments that flout international rules and restrict effective protection and enforcement for U.S. IP through their policies and activities,” Ong added.  He highlighted specific cross-cutting issues impacting manufacturers around the world, including:

  • Increasing attempts to weaken the global IP framework through specific activities and initiatives in international organizations and forums;
  • New threats from countries seeking to undermine patent protections that support strong U.S. exports of innovative products;
  • Growing infringement of trade secrets and business confidential information, caused by weak trade secrets regimes and increasingly sophisticated infringers using both physical and electronic means; and
  • Growing counterfeiting and piracy in markets around the world.

Ong called upon the U.S. government to “make strategic use of all available options to promote and protect innovative American manufacturing.” These options must include strong, enforceable IP protections in trade negotiations such as the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other bilateral dialogues. The United States must make strategic, results-oriented use of domestic tools such as Special 301 and the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act as well as World Trade Organization (WTO) enforcement proceedings. Moreover, U.S. government agencies must also promote a pro-IP message in regional and multilateral forums, actively engage with like-minded allies and international platforms and operate creative training programs with foreign governments to cultivate other pro-IP voices.

Given the strategic importance on strong IP protections voiced by President Donald Trump and members of his Administration, manufacturers across the country call on the U.S. government to promote strong IP protections.  Our manufacturing competitiveness depends on efforts by the U.S. government and industry to use all available tools to open new markets and break down barriers, thus growing high-paying jobs in innovative manufacturing that we all want to see.

The post NAM: U.S. Must Step Up Efforts to Protect Innovation as “Lifeblood” of Manufacturing appeared first on Shopfloor.