As advocates of the manufacturing industry we love to serve, we’re always plugged in to see what the news and trends are. So in this new feature every Friday we’ll bring up two topics to discuss with you. There are a number of critical topics this week but two really stood out:
- Will 2014 be a good year for US Manufacturers?
- Acquiring Skilled Talent
Will 2014 be a good year for US Manufacturers?
The data is fairly unanimous that 2013 was a good year for US based manufacturers and their suppliers. Unemployment in the sector continued to decline but advocacy for on-shoring and self reliance is still really important for lots of different reasons including national security. In Q4 of 2013 and Q1 2014 there are some signs of a drop in expectations for growth in the industry. Adversely, according to Modern Machine Shop North Amerian machine tool sales were very strong and out-paced the rest of the world in growth in 2013 and predictions are that the 8.3% of growth we saw in 2013 will increase to 15% in 2014:
As an indicator of the health of manufacturing in a country, a growing market for machine tools is a positive sign. For this reason, we should be heartened by the prediction that U.S. consumption of machine tools will grow 15 percent in 2014. This level of investment is clear evidence that American manufacturing is undergoing a resurgence. –Steve Kline, Jr.
So like most things, the data and expectations are not always in agreement. It’s best of course that we all continue to push hard to do our best, maximize efficiency and tell the stories that need to be told of North American manufacturing excellence.
Acquiring Skilled Talent
Acquiring skilled talent is a challenge most businesses face, there are always things employers and employees can do regardless of the market conditions. We were reminded this week by a comment on LinkedIn that certain jobs always exist (relocation and skill upgrades may be necessary), here is one example:
I’ve seen ads on Monster.com for months, no — make that over a year — for Intigrex machinists, setup people, and programmers in Michigan. It’s a great place to be. -John Taratuta
Along those lines there has been a lot of discussion this week about attracting people and in particular young people and women in manufacturing. Part of the issue is that only the people building amazing stuff really know how cool it is. Lack of awareness coupled with the image portrayed of manufacturing being poor at best, does present a worthy challenge to attracting talent. However the truth is the jobs aren’t only cool, they pay well too. PMPA addressed that annual payroll per employee for manufacturing actually tops health care!
Have your Say
We’d love to hear your personal opinions and experiences on the subjects we share here. Please consider leaving a comment below or feel free to contact us with your thoughts.