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Is manufacturing rebounding?
Manufacturing is -- or had been -- a significant sector for staffing services. There has been a lot of talk, supplemented by anecdotal news reports, about how U.S. manufacturing is rebounding. Particularly on slow news days, the media will present this story and show how some manufacturers are adding employees. Other groups and organizations tout how their manufacturing "index" in up.
Manufacturing -- as measured by output -- is growing but that may not necessarily mean more jobs. Through automation, the "new" factory is highly mechanized and the workers who remain are much more productive so growth in the U.S. manufacturing economy could actually translate to fewer manufacturing jobs at one point down the road. But, perhaps the more relevant question to staffing services is 'are manufacturers adding jobs and employees?' No doubt there is growth in some manufacturing sectors in certain localities.
First, let's look at what has happen in overall employment in the last ten years or so.
The blue line (and left blue scale) is total nonfarm jobs; the red line (and right red scale) is the year-on-year change in the number of jobs. The red dashed line is 0 percent for year-on-year change -- above the red dashed line is growth and below it is decline. Note how the solid red line started to move down (indicating slower year-on-year growth) well before the blue line (jobs) actually started to decline. Also, take note of how year-on-year change has become fairly steady, but fortunately above the red-dashed line, since the beginning of 2012.
Now, let's take a look at manufacturing jobs for the same time period.
As you can see, manufacturing jobs were steadily declining from before 2013 as seen by both the downward slope of the blue line as well as the red line positioned below the 0 percent red dashed line. But starting in the end of 2010, manufacturing jobs started to increase (the blue line starts to slop upward and the year-on-year change is above zero). But growth slows and even dips below 0 percent in 2013.
It appears that the long downward slide in manufacturing employment has stalled for the time being. The current trend for manufacturing jobs can best be characterized as unchanged. The blue manufacturing jobs line has been fairly steady at about 12,000,000 jobs since around mid-2012.
The question remains will staffing services have a future in manufacturing? The answer is a definite maybe. Some manufacturers in some markets and industries are indeed growing their payrolls (and we have tools to help you identify them).
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, the manufacturing economy is growing as manufacturers generate that growth with fewer employees because of productivity gains with manufacturing jobs that are higher skilled and higher paid. Often, U.S. manufacturers are producing "the smarts in smart technology." The kind of workers these manufacturers are looking for may soon be in short supply. That's the good news.
The other side of that good news coin is that some manufacturing is undergoing a major shift as 3-D printing begins to supplant traditional manufacturing, which is probably not a good development for staffing services, unless those staffing services are setting themselves up to provide IT and engineering professionals to program and run those 3-D manufacturing processes.
Our Temporary Help Services Interactive Data Book tool will enable to view the local (down to the county level) temporary help services trends as well as benchmark your local staffing operation to discover exactly where you are positioned in the market and if your offices are performing up to the local market.
Then use our Employment Tracking Tool that is designed to assist you in identifying and evaluating new sectors and markets. It examines the overall employment trends by industry in the given market to help determine possibly under-serviced industries to target marketing efforts (as well as what industries to avoid). By doing this, it shows what industries are growing and therefore are in expansion mode making them eager for a wide variety of products and services and likely in need of additional staff.
Demonstrations of both strategic planning tools are available.
2020 is now only seven years away ... this free report will help you plan to get there
Our special supplemental standalone report on the future nature of jobs to the year 2020, which includes a focus on what the future holds for staffing and employment services, is still available. And because we know our audience tend to the analytical, the eight-page report is packed with charts and tables of data. The report also includes lists of the fastest growing industries/sectors as well as types of jobs in order for staffing executives to help in their strategic planning for the immediate future. If you would like a copy free of charge, justshoot us an email and we'll send the link.
Looking for more? Check out our podcasts!
Podcasts of the current employment situation will be available by 4:00 p.m. ET Friday, November 8th. The video podcast, which you can start and stop to study the tables and graphs as well as replay individual sections, includes additional data and information. Watch the video version here or just listen to the audio version here (no special hardware or software required), which also can be downloaded to an iPod.
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October 2013 Employment Report (a.k.a. "The Shutdown Report")
This is the employment report that covers the period of the recent government shutdown. Therefore, some numbers this month may be an aberration.
If a worker, government or otherwise, was furloughed and despite receiving back-pay for not working during the shutdown, they are counted as unemployed since they did not work during the survey period (which was Sunday, October 6 through Saturday, October 12; the shutdown lasted until October 16). With that stated, The unemployment rate was incrementally up by 0.1 percent to 7.3 percent in October, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics characterized as "little changed" (incidentally, BLS always labels movement of 0.1 percent in either direction this way). However, this month's unemployment rate was the result of some fairly large movements in its underlying components. See the "Household Survey" section at the bottom of this box for more detail.
In addition, the data submitted by employers could have also been skewed due to the shutdown. However, according to the BLS Commissioner, "there were no discernible impacts of the partial federal government shutdown" on those data series. The total number of nonfarm jobs was up 204,000 in October, which blew past almost everyone's estimates and expectations and was the third best performance thus far in 2013. Go figure!
The number of jobs in the private Goods-producing sector grew by 35,000 in October after growth of 27,000 in September.
The private Service-providing sector added 177,000 jobs in October, which was clearly an improvement from September's growth of 123,000 and slightly off August's gain of 187,000.
Wholesale trade was down by 5,400, which was a change from the 14,300 it added in September.
Transportation and warehousing sector apparently didn't
need any more help with no change in the number of jobs in October after
adding 29,500 in September. Financial activities
The Professional and business services sector
held its own with growth of 44,000 jobs in October (it grew by 32,000 in
September and was up 42,000 in August). Computer systems
design and related services got its groove back by increasing by 3,200
jobs in October after declining by 1,700 in September (revised);
Management and technical consulting services jobs, which is about 30
percent smaller in terms of the total employment, added 7,700 jobs in
October, which was an acceleration from the 4,200 it added in September. The Education and health services sector added a total of
The Education and health services sector added a total of
Leisure and hospitality sector perked up with 53,000 more jobs in October after adding only 13,000 in September.
Government jobs declined by 8,000 jobs. Much of the 12,000 Federal government decline can be attributed to the shutdown, but the U.S. Postal Service, which was not affected by the shutdown because it is self-funded, also shed 4,400 jobs, State government was up by 7,000, but Local government was down by 3,000.
Temporary Help Services Roundup
Temporary help services was growth slowed in October with an increase of 3,300 jobs to reach an all-time high of 2,737,700. To see a chart of Temporary help's growth from 1990 to October 2013 and comparing it to total employment, click here.
Temporary help services decelerating growth (the past few months had been revised downward) meant it only grew by 0.1 percent in October and was up 8.2 percent year-on-year.
And because of the revisions, Temporary help service's market share is not quite as high as previously calculated. In October, it was 2.0 percent (2.0048 percent), which was a slight decline from September's 2.0 percent (2.0054 percent).
(if the chart is unclear, click on them to open in a browser window)
TheOctober 7.3 percent unemployment rate was incrementally higher than the 7.2 percent of September but still definitively lower than the 7.9 percent of October 2012.
However, October's unemployment rate was a result of some relatively large movements in the underlying component parts. The size of the labor force declined by 720,000 but as the same time there were 735,000 fewer people employed and 17,000 more people unemployed. The number of persons not in the labor force grew by 932,000 and the total population of the country grew by only 213,000.
In other words,fewer people had jobs and the size of the labor force contracted at the same time and that labor force contraction was not quite large enough to overcome the decline in the number of employed persons plus the increase in the number of unemployed persons. These shifts caused the unemployment rate to move up.
The employment-to-population ratiowas much lower at 58.3 percent in October (was 58.6 in September) as the labor force participation rate also decreased to 62.8 percent in October (was 63.2 percent in September 2013 and 63.8 percent in October 2012). However, the number of discouraged workers was fairly stable with 815,000 in October 2013, which was up only slight from the 813,000 in October 2012.
NEXT EMPLOYMENT REPORT -- FRIDAY,DECEMBER 6, 2013
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