Manufacturers continue to be challenged by rising energy costs
The National Association of Manufacturers pointed to a recent Labor Department employment report as an indication that the economy is continuing to moderate from robust growth that took place earlier in the year.
“The addition of 128,000 jobs in August, on par with the jobs created during the prior two months, shows that the economy is in a decelerating mode,” said David Huether, chief economist of NAM.
“While manufacturing employment fell by 11,000 in August after a 23,000 decline in July, it has edged up by 12,000 to a level of 14.2 million over the past year,” he said. “However, this modest change overshadows an emerging dichotomy within manufacturing: Over the past year, production employment %%MDASSML%% jobs on the factory floor %%MDASSML%% have increased by 150,000, while non-production jobs have fallen by 138,000.
“Of the 22 major manufacturing sectors, 10 have added 226,000 jobs over the past 12 months,” Huether said.
“These figures show that, while some manufacturing sectors are benefiting from solid growth in exports and business investment, other sectors are significantly challenged by rising import competition and the effects of high gasoline prices,” he said.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey