NAM: High gas prices causing layoffs


High natural gas prices are beginning to cause significant job losses, salary freezes and lost market share for U.S. manufacturers, according to the results of a national survey released Thursday by the National Association of Manufacturers.

Nearly 45% of those surveyed said they will be forced to lay off workers or impose wage freezes or reductions. About 22% of respondents said their companies would cut health care or benefits in an attempt to keep up with energy costs.

“This is a crisis. It’s the worst I’ve seen since we started this company 45 years ago,” said Virginia Ferrell, president of Capital Engineering and Manufacturing Co., with 85 employees in Chicago. “I don’t think people recognize that this shortage of energy is new to the United States. It’s a seismic market disruption. Meanwhile, our competitors are increasing their energy supplies.”

Ferrell said her company would impose job cuts, wage freezes, benefit cuts, and move to a four-day work week to survive energy costs that have doubled. “This is serious enough to put us out of business,” she said.

About two-thirds of respondents said natural gas is their primary energy source. About 15% cited oil, and three percent cited coal.

“The results of this survey should set off alarms in Congress -- high energy prices pose an immediate threat to the U.S. economy,” said NAM president John Engler. “It is time to increase energy supply and infrastructure, starting with developing our vast resources in Alaska and the Outer Continental Shelf.”

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
Ensuring SCADA/HMI cybersecurity; Optimize manufacturing value in real-time; Simplifying drive-based and controller-based automation
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

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

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me