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Rumors Of North American Manufacturing Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated by spark1
Started on: 05-11-2011 12:26 AM
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Last post by: maryjane on 06-04-2011 11:42 PM
spark1
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Report this Post05-11-2011 12:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for spark1Send a Private Message to spark1Direct Link to This Post
Manufacturing Booms as Deere Exemplifies Surge in Productivity

 
quote
Once-ailing manufacturers are enjoying a robust rebound as cost-saving moves from job cuts to a greater reliance on technology help drive stronger-than-forecast growth. The shift has helped set the stage for a potential “manufacturing renaissance,” says James Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Minneapolis-based Wells Capital Management. He predicts the industry will set the pace for U.S. expansion and the American stock market during this decade, as technology did in the 1990s.

“Manufacturing is leading the whole economy,” said Paulsen, whose firm oversees about $340 billion. U.S. manufacturers “had to find religion. They’ve really cleaned up their balance sheets. What is left is the cream of the crop.”


 
quote
Cheaper than China

Foreign companies increasingly see the attraction of having operations in America. Siemens is spending $170 million to expand a gas-turbine factory in Charlotte, North Carolina, that will manufacture the turbines “at the end of the year cheaper than we can make them in Shanghai,” Spiegel said. “It’s a good time to be adding new production capability in the U.S.”



Canada to benefit from U.S. manufacturing renaissance

 
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Canada could reap the rewards from a return to madein-America manufacturing, says the lead author of a study released Thursday.

Harold Sirkin, who is based in Chicago and a senior partner at Boston Consulting Group, predicts a renaissance in industrial manufacturing in the United States by 2015 as outsourcing production to China becomes less attractive to U.S. companies due to rising wages and the surging yuan.

He says Canada also stands to benefit from this trend as the demand for raw materials north of the border increases to meet growing U.S. need. As the U.S. produces more cars or electronics, Canadian manufacturers could see a boost as well.

"There will be a bunch of Canadian plants that will naturally succeed because people will want to source more closely to where they're producing," Mr. Sirkin says. "Canada has a great workforce and great work ethics and if the economics are right, there will be just natural demand for job growth because of demand from the U.S."


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Report this Post05-11-2011 01:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post
Rumors of the North American Manufacturing Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated is greatly exaggerated.

1. If there is to be a rennasaince of US manufactoring by 2015, as the article states, then there had to have been a "dark ages". Clue--we're in that age now.

2. All things are relative. Things are gonna improve greatly according to the article. An improvement compared to what? 2004? 1995? 1968?

3. "There will be a bunch of Canadian plants that will naturally succeed because people will want to source more closely to where they're producing," Sorry, that is historically false. Out sourcing will continue, to the cheapest labor force. Generally speaking, that will continue to be China for the forseeable future, and when that "dries" up, Africa and the poorer nations of S. and Central America.

4. People don't understand, that there is a HUGE difference in productivity and employment. Even after the bust of 2009/09 when everyone was laying off, productivity dropped very little, and in most companies, actually increased, but it was due to getting more out of the remaining employees, not because of expansion or growth. If the article is correct, and advancements in technology will be the driving force behind increased production, there will be very little increase in the US manufactoring employment picture.

5.It should come as no surprise to anyone, to see a Chicago based consultant paint a rosy picture of the short term US economic/manufactoring picture.
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spark1
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Report this Post05-11-2011 02:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for spark1Send a Private Message to spark1Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by maryjane:

Rumors of the North American Manufacturing Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated is greatly exaggerated.

1. If there is to be a rennasaince of US manufactoring by 2015, as the article states, then there had to have been a "dark ages". Clue--we're in that age now.

2. All things are relative. Things are gonna improve greatly according to the article. An improvement compared to what? 2004? 1995? 1968?

3. "There will be a bunch of Canadian plants that will naturally succeed because people will want to source more closely to where they're producing," Sorry, that is historically false. Out sourcing will continue, to the cheapest labor force. Generally speaking, that will continue to be China for the forseeable future, and when that "dries" up, Africa and the poorer nations of S. and Central America.

4. People don't understand, that there is a HUGE difference in productivity and employment. Even after the bust of 2009/09 when everyone was laying off, productivity dropped very little, and in most companies, actually increased, but it was due to getting more out of the remaining employees, not because of expansion or growth. If the article is correct, and advancements in technology will be the driving force behind increased production, there will be very little increase in the US manufactoring employment picture.

5.It should come as no surprise to anyone, to see a Chicago based consultant paint a rosy picture of the short term US economic/manufactoring picture.


You may be right but this turn around has been going on for over 19 months and there may be something significant going on. See:

What's Driving US Manufacturing Growth?

 
quote
The Bottom Line
I don’t want to overstate things here. US manufacturing is doing surprisingly well, but in part it’s simply making up for the enormous downturn in 2008 and 2009. And the simple fact that the manufacturing sector is relatively small in the US means that there’s only so much that it can do to pull the rest of the US economy into high gear.

However – and this is a pretty big however – this is the first time in 25 years that the manufacturing sector of the US economy is not underperforming the economy as a whole. And it’s being driven in large part by solid growth in domestic demand for durable goods and business equipment. The last piece of the puzzle – the role of international trade in the relatively strong performance of US manufacturing – is also an extremely important one, and suggests that some fairly profound shifts in the US’s international competitiveness may be happening. I’ll take a look at that later this week.


And:

US manufacturing growth lifts recovery

 
quote
US manufacturing remained one of few bright spots for America’s recovery hopes and the sector held on to steady growth in April even as commodity costs pushed up prices.


But others have doubts:

What US Manufacturing Growth Has To Do With China

 
quote
Overall, manufacturing performance is the strongest in the US economy – it grew 9.1 percent (the estimated annual rate) in the first quarter, compared to 1.8 percent for the economy as a whole. Could this be a long-term trend, as China deals with inflation, increased environmental regulation and subsequent costs of production? Maybe. Even though Chinese workers are not paid nearly as much as their American counterparts, the standard of living is slowly creeping up and the middle class is growing. Within the next couple decades, US manufacturing could be seen as truly competitive globally once again, especially if costs to produce in China continue going up. Whether that’s happening already, though, even amidst a growing domestic manufacturing sector, is still a tough case to make.


I’m no expert on manufacturing but I know someone who is and he claims “group think” is the prime reason for many factory moves. The psychology of this is very important. Everyone knows it’s cheaper to make things in China but is it? Labor accounts for only 5 - 10% of the average manufacturers costs. There are other factors far more important than labor to consider.

I don’t know if manufacturing is ever going to come back to what it was before but it is showing signs of life again.

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maryjane
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Report this Post05-11-2011 05:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Overall, manufacturing performance is the strongest in the US economy – it grew 9.1 percent (the estimated annual rate) in the first quarter, compared to 1.8 percent for the economy as a whole.


Again, one has to keep in mind that phrase "in relation to what?" 9.1% of what? . Compared to the previous qtr or year? If a person only earned a measely $5000 one year and next year earned $10,000, that's a 200% increase, but it still ain't squat.
Manufactoring performance had been way down for quite awhile, so an increase brings it back to????????? And it shouldn't be forgotten, that many companies had huge inventories on hand when the dam burst in '08. and didn't really need to do much manufactoring for quite awhile, as there was no demand, so they just sold their on hand inventories down over several years. Now, those inventories are nil, so it is natural that they would need to begin to replenish them at some point.

If and when, the leading indicators in the durable good sector improve to 2006 levels, we are not any further ahead than we were 5 years ago, If and when unemployment in the durable good sector drops below 6.8% and stays there or continues to drop for 3 consecutive qtrs, then we are right back (approximately). where we were in 2006 That, is NOT growth.

Will it come back where it was--ever? Depends on the definition of "was". One of the things many people don't realize, is it isn't just or even so much that we shipped jobs oversaes, and lost our leading edge, it's that the rest of the developed world caught up to us and in most cases, surpassed us. Back in the 60s-70s, when we were still the big dog, Cat, Deere, Westinghouse, GE were not just the leaders, they were virtually alone in their fields. Now, there's Kamatsu, Kubota, Hitachi, Hozma, Sony, and a ton of foriegn brands that make very good products--many of them in plants right here in the USA, with those companies' profits going right back to corporate headquarters in Japan. AND, we CANNOT bring all our manufactoring back here, because much of it is overseas thru trade agreements in order for us to be able to sell our products in foriegn lands. GM and Ford have plants in China in order to be able to sell more Buicks and Fseries pickups there. Inversely, Mercedes has it's plant in Alabama under an agreement so they can sell us more of their units. Kubota has a plant in Georgia so they could break into the home and garden/ag sector here in the US. Deere has plants in China and Bularia so they can sell more of their tractors and combines in that nation. No nation can grow and prosper, or even survive, if they don't export. In order for us to export, we have to make agreements with the lands we export to and they with us. Drive by any major construction site or farm belt and see how many Kamatsu units you see. In my day, you would have only seen Cats and Case---no longer true, and Kamatsu makes very good tough machines. They're here to stay.

US manufactoring=durable goods, but most of them are built with foriegn steel and raw materials. Whose? Korea's. Australia's.

Things have changed and that genie will never return to his bottle. The Eurozone trade pact and ASEAN were formed with one objective in mind--to compete with the North American manufactoring juggernaught. There's no way for us to kick our trading partners out without them doing the same, and we cannot survive just passing the same $$$ dollar bills around among our red white and blueness anyway.
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Report this Post05-11-2011 09:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for css9450Click Here to Email css9450Send a Private Message to css9450Direct Link to This Post
So to put it another way, its like falling down a flight of stairs, then getting back up and going up just one step. Sure, its a step in the right direction, but its premature to call it a recovery.

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Report this Post05-11-2011 09:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PyrthianClick Here to Email PyrthianSend a Private Message to PyrthianDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by css9450:
So to put it another way, its like falling down a flight of stairs, then getting back up and going up just one step. Sure, its a step in the right direction, but its premature to call it a recovery.


perfectly put

we are only in the initial stages of the manufacturing migration.
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Report this Post05-11-2011 09:56 AM Click Here to See the Profile for twofatguysClick Here to Email twofatguysSend a Private Message to twofatguysDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by maryjane:


Again, one has to keep in mind that phrase "in relation to what?" 9.1% of what? . Compared to the previous qtr or year? If a person only earned a measely $5000 one year and next year earned $10,000, that's a 200% increase, but it still ain't squat.


Very well put. I've lived this/am living this. Almost the same amounts too. According to the Government I am doing awesome I guess.

Brad
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Report this Post05-11-2011 11:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
The whole point of manufacturing jobs in the past was that they paid well and had decent benefits. Modern manufacturing jobs pay little more than minimum wage and often have benefits that are meager, if they have benefits at all. 20-30 years ago a decent manufacturing job could cover fair retirement savings, kid's college expenses, a modest home, and a little on the side to have a little fun with. Nowadays you'd be lucky to cover rent and basic food, forget about college, retirement, or deductibles and copays for that matter (assuming the job even had health care as a benefit in the first place).
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Report this Post05-11-2011 01:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ZebSend a Private Message to ZebDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by maryjane:

Out sourcing will continue, to the cheapest labor force. Generally speaking, that will continue to be China for the forseeable future, and when that "dries" up, Africa and the poorer nations of S. and Central America.


Yes, China continues to have the cheapest labor. However, it suceeds for other reasons as well.
1] China has a huge population already concentrated in established cities.
2] Chinese are almost all educated to at least a high school level and speak, read and write a common language.
3] The Chinese have a long cultural hisory of making things and trading them.
4] A government that may be corrupt on a local level, but on a national level has a strong leadership and vision.

Do not overlook these factors in wondering why China suceeds in building a manufacturing base. These reasons are also why Africa will not.

Remember also, that business "leaders" are stupid herd animals who all do what their peers do. After 30+ years of "Move the plant to China" groupthink, it's no longer all the rage it once was. And they are now seeing the true COST of moving everything to China. The big terror for them, is that now they are seeing THEIR jobs disappear. It finally dawns on them that they are creating COMPETITORS, not sources.

Chinese aren't stupid. They realize that they'll make more money by not just building the product, but desigining and marketing it as well. Shoot, we've TAUGHT them everything they need to know. And paid them to learn it.

So when Mahogany Row thinks about pulling the ripcord on their Golden Parachutes, and start looking for the next victim to suck dry, they realize the landing field is a little smaller than before. And getting crowded. So maybe, just maybe they decide to beat the dead horse they're riding a little longer. But they've got to freshen him up a little, and make him run better. But that's not a skill set they've practiced in a LONG time. And it's not taught, or can't be taught, in MBA School.

But wait. There is a ray of sunshine on the horizon. In China, the peasants are getting restless. They see all the stuff they build, and know it means money. They want a slice of that pie. And they've been getting crumbs here and there. The wages in China are rising, and their currency is rising. Both are eroding the edge they've held for decades. That trend will only accelerate in the future.

If Union people REALLY want to save American jobs, look East. If they really want to honor the hard work and spilled blood of their grandparents and great-grandparents, they should go the workers of China and teach THEM how to organize. What Karl Marx DIDN'T anticipate when he said "Workers of the world, unite!" was labor unions. Labor organizers can teach the Chinese workers that Communism can't help them, but Capitalism, tempered by Labor Unions, can. And I don't mean the labor unions of "Give me my automatic raise, and I can never be fired" I mean labor Unions of the Molly Maguiers, and on its best day, the UAW.

"But labor unions are illegal in China!" They were in this country too, in a lot of cases. Or may as well have been, given the power structure.

We have a choice. We can continue down the road of Golden Parachutes and hefty union benefits, and flush this country down the toilet. But I don't want to go there, and if anybody reaches for the flush handle, I'm gonna break their wrist.

[This message has been edited by Zeb (edited 05-11-2011).]

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Report this Post05-11-2011 02:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Scottzilla79Send a Private Message to Scottzilla79Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:

The whole point of manufacturing jobs in the past was that they paid well and had decent benefits. Modern manufacturing jobs pay little more than minimum wage and often have benefits that are meager, if they have benefits at all. 20-30 years ago a decent manufacturing job could cover fair retirement savings, kid's college expenses, a modest home, and a little on the side to have a little fun with. Nowadays you'd be lucky to cover rent and basic food, forget about college, retirement, or deductibles and copays for that matter (assuming the job even had health care as a benefit in the first place).


No, the whole point of manufacturing jobs in the past, as it is now, is to manufacture things. Part of the reason wages for manufacturing have fallen is because the processes have been made simpler and simpler and required less labor and less intelligence or education. This along with increased competition globally.
How much of this "resurgence" is due to a weak dollar and rising fuel prices? I'd rather the growth came from increased demand for American produced goods.
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Report this Post05-11-2011 09:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for avengador1Click Here to Email avengador1Send a Private Message to avengador1Direct Link to This Post
Speaking of American jobs.
http://twitpic.com/4wbk1t
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Report this Post05-12-2011 12:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for spark1Send a Private Message to spark1Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Scottzilla79:


No, the whole point of manufacturing jobs in the past, as it is now, is to manufacture things. Part of the reason wages for manufacturing have fallen is because the processes have been made simpler and simpler and required less labor and less intelligence or education. This along with increased competition globally.
How much of this "resurgence" is due to a weak dollar and rising fuel prices? I'd rather the growth came from increased demand for American produced goods.


This source agrees with you. Off-shoring isn't the only thing causing loss of manufacturing jobs:

 
quote
Of course we all know that manufacturing employment in the US has been on a secular downward trend for about 3 decades now. This has been driven largely, I would argue, by technological advances that have dramatically increased manufacturing productivity. As illustrated by the picture below, improvements in productivity mean that the US manufacturing sector now requires a third fewer workers to produce the same output compared to the year 2000. That largely explains the 33% drop in manufacturing employment in the US between the years 2000 and 2010.




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Report this Post05-12-2011 12:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WichitaClick Here to Email WichitaSend a Private Message to WichitaDirect Link to This Post
Sure! There is not a manufacturing demise in North America...Just the people needed for manufacturing.

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Report this Post05-12-2011 10:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroRumorClick Here to visit FieroRumor's HomePageClick Here to Email FieroRumorSend a Private Message to FieroRumorDirect Link to This Post
.

[This message has been edited by FieroRumor (edited 05-12-2011).]

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Report this Post05-12-2011 11:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Nurb432Send a Private Message to Nurb432Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Zeb:

But wait. There is a ray of sunshine on the horizon. In China, the peasants are getting restless. They see all the stuff they build, and know it means money. They want a slice of that pie. And they've been getting crumbs here and there. The wages in China are rising, and their currency is rising. Both are eroding the edge they've held for decades. That trend will only accelerate in the future.



that is the price they will pay for 'letting in the outside world'. It will eventually lead to civil war and China's downfall.

And for the record, manufacturing still sucks out here in my parts


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spark1
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Report this Post05-12-2011 12:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for spark1Send a Private Message to spark1Direct Link to This Post
You didn't see the 13,300 jobs added in Indiana?

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Report this Post05-12-2011 12:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Scottzilla79Send a Private Message to Scottzilla79Direct Link to This Post
I wonder about those numbers. They just don't feel right. Michigan is booming? Sure don't seem like it. Are they counting the 4000 jobs GM just announced they were creating and "saving".
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Report this Post05-12-2011 03:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Grandaddy84SESend a Private Message to Grandaddy84SEDirect Link to This Post
I think the life expectancy of a union organizer in a totalitarian dictatorship like China would be measured in months, possibly days. The entire Chinese economy relies on a bubble of cheap labor and transportation, but their demand for oil is driving up transportation costs and the cheap labor is going to get more expensive as they realize they are the real source of China's new found wealth and demand their share. China does not have the same social safety nets developed over the decades by capitalist countries to maintain a minimum level of comfort for unemployed/displaced workers, so when the orders dry up and their factories start shutting down the government will have to force their excess factory workers back to being peasant farmers at gunpoint. The army may not be strong enough or willing to do this. In which case we may rise some morning to news of wide spread rioting in China, complete with burning factories and newly minted millionaires hanging from the lamp posts. It happened in France, to some extent in England, in Russia, and it can happen in China.
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Report this Post05-12-2011 03:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Nurb432Send a Private Message to Nurb432Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by spark1:

You didn't see the 13,300 jobs added in Indiana?



not around me. Must have been in other parts of the state.
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Report this Post05-12-2011 05:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
Definition of manufacturing jobs:

http://useconomy.about.com/...nufacturing_jobs.htm

Definition: Manufacturing jobs are those involved with the production of new products from raw materials or from components. Manufacturing jobs are usually in a factory, plant or mill but can also be in a home, as long as products, not services, are created. Manufacturing jobs include fish processing, water bottling and milk pasteurization. Manufacturing jobs are not involved in book publishing, logging, mining or construction, even though products are created by these jobs. (Source: U.S. Census, NAICS)

I can't imagine "fish processing" and "water bottling" as being what I would think of as a good job in terms of pay, working conditions, and benefits. Would be interesting to see the wage breakdown of the new jobs created and the jobs lost. Replacing a $18/hour machine assembly job with benefits with a $6/hour chicken-gutting job with no benefits doesn't seem like a straight across trade to me.
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Report this Post05-12-2011 05:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cliffwClick Here to Email cliffwSend a Private Message to cliffwDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:
Would be interesting to see the wage breakdown of the new jobs created and the jobs lost. Replacing a $18/hour machine assembly job with benefits with a $6/hour chicken-gutting job with no benefits doesn't seem like a straight across trade to me.

Check any number of articles on the failure of Nobama's Stimulus package. Also interesting is the costs it took to create a job. They could have just gave someone the money they earned, not spend another dime, and we as a country would be less in debt as we had to borrow that stimulus money.
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Report this Post05-12-2011 05:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for spark1Send a Private Message to spark1Direct Link to This Post
Just started seeing U.S. made items in the dollar bins at Target. I doubt the very few persons making the items are highly paid. Manufacturing jobs are not what they used to be.
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Testimony of Mike Rowe (yes, the guy from Dirty Jobs)
Mike Rowe's Testimony Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

It's a good read.

 
quote
...
Right now, American manufacturing is struggling to fill 200,000 vacant positions. There are 450,000 openings in trades, transportation and utilities. The skills gap is real, and it's getting wider. In Alabama, a third of all skilled tradesmen are over 55. They're retiring fast, and no one is there to replace them.

Alabama's not alone. A few months ago in Atlanta I ran into Tom Vilsack, our Secretary of Agriculture. Tom told me about a governor who was unable to move forward on the construction of a power plant. The reason was telling. It wasn't a lack of funds. It wasn't a lack of support. It was a lack of qualified welders.

In general, we're surprised that high unemployment can exist at the same time as a skilled labor shortage. We shouldn't be. We've pretty much guaranteed it.

[This message has been edited by Formula88 (edited 05-12-2011).]

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Report this Post05-13-2011 07:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WichitaClick Here to Email WichitaSend a Private Message to WichitaDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:

Testimony of Mike Rowe (yes, the guy from Dirty Jobs)
Mike Rowe's Testimony Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

It's a good read.



Now that I can believe. People with knowledge and some technical skill set is a major rarity IMHO.

I don't know what it is that there are so many people who are on welfare, baby mamas, fast food employees and the like yet trade schools are available and hardly anybody takes the effort or has the desire to attend these schools to get a trade skill to better their lives. I know the jobs are out there.

Hell, I'm hiring for jobs myself for technician positions and I struggle to find applicants who can pass a simple assessment test, I mean just knowing simple math and knowing how to use a basic voltmeter would be nice.

I posses a college degree, but I also posses a diploma that I earn at a technical college, for which I attended straight out of high school. I will tell you that my technical education has carried me in my work career much more than a college degree has.

When I graduated from college, there were thousands upon thousands of graduates walking to nab their diplomas from the Dean's hands. When I attended and graduated from a Technical College there was barely a few hundred. Even the program I went through started with 22 students and we ended up (me included) 6 students that graduated. Note* I attended college and tech school in the same city.
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Pyrthian
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Report this Post05-13-2011 11:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PyrthianClick Here to Email PyrthianSend a Private Message to PyrthianDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
What The Average American Knows About Manufacturing


This article first appeared in IMPO's May 2011 issue.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fifty years ago manufacturing provided one out of every four jobs. Today it is one out of 10 jobs. As a percentage of GDP, manufacturing has declined from a high of 21 percent in the 1950s to 11 percent today. The large corporations continue to outsource both products and complete plants, and seem to be totally indifferent to the future of manufacturing in the U.S.

The manufacturing industry is also strategically tied to other industries like mining, railroads, trucking, and defense. And 2/3 of all research and development is done by manufacturing, but it is slowly declining as American manufacturing declines.

On the other hand, some economists make the case that the economy is simply transitioning to a “post-industrial” service economy and we shouldn’t worry about the loss of manufacturing.

So What Do the Citizens Think?

A recent survey by Delloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, titled “What the public thinks about manufacturing today,” answers the manufacturing problem in terms of the following questions:

1. Do Americans continue to believe manufacturing is vitally important?

The survey showed that 78 percent of Americans believe that American manufacturing is vitally important to our economic prosperity and 76 percent think it is also important to our standard of living. The survey ranked manufacturing ahead of technology, financial services, health care, communications, and retail.

This is a refreshing result because it is a rejection of the views of many economists who support the idea of a “post-industrial” society without a manufacturing base. The average citizen can see through the post-industrial myth and seems to see that manufacturing is really the foundation of the economy. They also seem to be aware that manufacturing is the key to all living standards and the future of the middle class.

2. Do Americans think that we have the skills and resources to compete globally?

60 percent of the respondents think the manufacturing industry can compete globally because they believe we have an advantage in technology, R&D, and skilled workforce. The respondents also identified work ethic, skilled workforce, and worker productivity as the most important traits that provide manufacturing a competitive advantage.

But what they don’t know is that our skilled workforce is rapidly retiring and most manufacturers are not investing in the advanced training needed to compete. They are also not aware that the government investment in R&D is not growing. In fact, in the period from 1964 to 2004 the government R&D budget declined by 60 percent. In addition, many large manufacturers have sent R&D overseas, along with their products and technologies. Training and R&D are vital to American manufacturing, but we are falling behind.

3. Do Americans want to strengthen the manufacturing industry?

75 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. needs a more strategic approach to developing its manufacturing base, and the same percentage feels the country needs to invest more in the manufacturing industry. The Obama administration did come up with what might be called a strategic approach in 2009 called “A framework for revitalizing American Manufacturing.” The plan includes seven policies on everything from advanced skill training to leveling the global playing field. But besides appointing a manufacturing czar, the administration is making little progress in the revitalization plan or the policies.

4. Are Americans concerned about the future of the industry? Although respondents place great importance on American Manufacturing, only 30 percent would encourage their children to pursue manufacturing as a career.

I blame this on the negative image of manufacturing created largely by the Fortune 500 companies. These companies have no loyalty and have proven over and over that they will close down a plant and outsource products to foreign countries without hesitation. In America, they lead a relentless effort to reduce the wages of their workers and break their unions. Why would any parent who watches this on the news everyday want their children to take the chance of working in manufacturing?

5. Are Americans concerned that government policies are putting the manufacturing sector at a disadvantage?

The respondents listed government business policies, corporate and individual tax rates, federal and state government leadership, and trade policies as significant disadvantages for manufacturing.

For the most part the citizens are correct on all of these problems. As described in item 3, the Obama plan for manufacturing has not gained much traction, and a really strong initiative (like an excise tax on imports) is needed to improve our trade deficit. Instead of a general tax cut, manufacturing needs targeted tax cuts that promote manufacturing in the United States. Contrary to what state governments promote, most state economic development policies neither favor manufacturing nor job creation.

6. How can manufacturers interest people in manufacturing jobs while so many negative stereotypes exist?

As explained in item 4, the negative image of manufacturing cannot be changed by public promotions or the Manufacturing Institute’s “Dream it, Do it” programs. These efforts ignore the real problems and are simply a tempest in a teacup. American manufacturing is going to have to get beyond simpleton promotions and really do the things that would interest young people in a career in manufacturing.

The large companies that are at the top of the supply chains are the only manufacturers, in my opinion, who have the power to change manufacturing’s image. Unless the large companies are willing to make a compact with new employees and commit to advanced training, job security, and paying for skills attained, the recruitment problem will not change.

From Awareness to Political Pressure

Contrary to what economists say, the average citizen has intuited that manufacturing is the key to improving living standards and the overall health of the middle class. It is also very encouraging that they also clearly see many of the obstacles that are preventing the growth of manufacturing.

But their questions on government policies, manufacturing’s image, and their lack of enthusiasm for manufacturing as a career for their children also shows the public is aware of the many obstacles and problems that must be overcome to prevent the continuous decline of the industry. Let’s just hope that this public awareness results in the political pressure that could make something happen.


http://www.impomag.com/scri...ShowPR~RID~17219.asp

[This message has been edited by Pyrthian (edited 05-13-2011).]

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maryjane
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Report this Post06-04-2011 11:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post
A bump. for May 2011 job and manufactoring report from the US Dept of Labor.
Dismal. Unemployment rose to 9.1%. Only 54,000 new jobs were added in may, when 90.000 new people enter the job market each month. Sound discouraging? It gets worse.

 
quote
Where to start? Today’s jobs report was bad. Not horrible, but bad nonetheless. The unemployment rate went up to 9.1%, rather than down as many ‘economists’ expected. Also, the level of new jobs was very low at 54,000. On top of that, the two previous months job gains were revised downward. All in all, this was a disappointing report.


We would need to average 250,000 new jobs per month for over five years to get back to where we were in December 2007.
25 million Americans are "officially" unemployed either under the traditional reporting method or the more broad "U6" measure.

According to NPR:
 
quote

There are 13.9 million Americans who are out of work and actively looking for a job. These are the people counted in the traditional unemployment number.
On top of that, another 8.5 million people want a full time job but can only find part-time work.

And there are an additional 2.2 million people want a job and have looked in the past year, but haven't looked in the past month.

These numbers combined make up what is sometimes known as the broader unemployment rate (the government calls this measure U-6). The broader unemployment rate is now just under 16 percent.






Data provided by (as noted in graphs) Bureau of Labor Statistics.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/mo...-find-full-time-work

Oh,, I almost forgot---manufactoring:

 
quote
Here’s yet another disappointing U.S. economic report: The ISM manufacturing index fell to 53.5 in May, down from 60.4 – missing expectations and hitting its lowest level since September 2009.

The good news? Any reading above 50 shows expansion, so the decline since February merely corresponds to slowdown in the rate of expansion rather than a nasty contraction in activity.

“Indeed, the real surprise is that the ISM has been so lofty in the prior months relative to what we were observing in other measures of factory activity,” said Krishen Rangasamy of CIBC World Markets, in a note.


Housing? Ya really don't want to know. Really, you don't.

The Service Sector is the only thing growing and it ain't going great guns either.

[This message has been edited by maryjane (edited 06-04-2011).]

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