NASA is doing its part to advance American manufacturing. The Trump administration has pushed American manufacturing as a cornerstone of economic growth. According to a report released last year, the White House said that “advanced manufacturing…is an engine of America’s economic power and a pillar of its national security,” adding that advances in manufacturing have played “a major role in America’s global economic dominance in the 20th century.” However, the report warned that “this century saw dramatic changes, with significant declines in U.S. manufacturing employment starting in the 1990s and accelerating losses during the 2008 recession.” NASA, which not only develops but builds extremely complex aerospace systems, is a big part of the manufacturing push. The government space agency has come up with a list of six emerging technologies that are “ripe” for commercialization in the country. Click here for a taste of what’s been invented in America by NASA to manufacture and maintain its aerospace systems:
The first three months of the year saw wages for manufacturing workers rise at the most in over a decade. The employment cost index, a measure of wages and benefits paid by businesses, for manufacturing workers rose by 0.9 percent in the first quarter, Labor Department data released Tuesday showed. The salary and wage component rose even more–by a full percentage point. The last time manufacturing saw quarterly wage gains that high was in 2008, when wages also rose 1.0 percent in the January through March period. Compared with a year ago, manufacturing wages were up 2.9 percent in March. That’s the biggest 12-month gain since March of 2003, when wages rose 3.2 percent. By Barack Obama’s final year in office, manufacturing wages were rising an average of just 0.625 a quarter. Very low inflation means that unlike past gains in worker pay, these have not been eaten away by higher prices. Prices in March were up just 1.5 percent compared with year-earlier levels, which makes the real wage gain 1.4 percent. Back in March 2003, prices were up 2.5 percent. So most of the paycheck growth went to higher prices. In March of 2008, the situation was even worse: 3.1 percent inflation meant workers were actually losing ground despite growing paychecks. There’s another reason to think that the first quarter of 2019 may have been better than either 2003 or 2008. In both those periods, unemployment in the manufacturing industry was quite high, 6.8 percent in 2003 and 5 percent in 2008. When unemployment is high or rising, lower paid workers with less tenure are often laid off before more experienced, higher paid workers, as a result average wages in the employment cost index can climb even when workers are losing their jobs. In fact, it usually does. But unemployment is now very low. In the manufacturing sector, it is just 2.9 percent. So there is no upward pressure being created by layoffs. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Manufacturing sector employment is expanding, and it is likely that manufacturing businesses are hiring less experienced workers who can be paid less than incumbents. So the very good numbers for the first quarter may be even better than they appear. The revival of American manufacturing was a key campaign promise of Donald Trump in the 2016 campaign. Tuesday’s data suggests that Trump is making good on that promise. When analyzing the employment cost index to see how economic conditions are affecting workers, it makes sense to focus on the wages and salaries component. The cost of benefits, which include employer-subsidized health insurance, can rise without workers seeing any actual improvement to their lives or financial situation. It is not just manufacturing employees seeing rising wages. Wages for all workers rose 1.1 percent in the first three months of 2019. Compared with a year ago, wages are up 3.0 percent. Wages in transportation, which includes truckers, rose 1.6 percent in the quarter and are up 4.6 percent for the year. The overall employment cost index climbed 0.7 percent in the first quarter, matching the fourth quarter’s growth. Both the wage and benefits component also rose 0.7 percent. Compared with a year ago, the index was up 2.8 percent. While that is slightly less than the fourth quarter’s 2.9 percent, it is an improvement in real terms because inflation was running a quarter of a percentage point higher at the end of 2018.
More great news in this Trump economy!! 🙂
Production at American factories boomed in December. Output at U.S. factories grew 1.1 percent last month, the Federal Reserve said Friday. Economists had expected industrial production to be flat to barely rising. Compared with a year ago, industrial production rose 4 percent in December. Vehicle production jumped 4.7 percent in the month, boosted by demand for light trucks. Compared with a year ago, vehicle production is up 7.8 percent. Construction supplies production rose 1.6 percent. Business equipment production was up 0.5 percent, which is a good indicator that U.S. businesses continued to invest in expansion despite the rocky performance of the stock market in December. For the year, this is up 5.0 percent. Factory output accounts for about 75 percent of overall industrial output, which rose 0.3 percent for the month. That was in line with the forecast. On an annual basis, total industrial production rose 4.0 percent, much higher than 2.9 percent in 2017 and 2016’s paltry 0.5 percent gain. Mining production rose 1.5 percent, a sharp and unexpected increase. Production at utilities fell 6.3 percent, likely because December was unseasonably warm in much of the country. Capacity utilization, which measures actual production against what factories could potentially produce, rose by 0.1 percent to 78.7 percent. Economists had predicted a slight decline. The jump in factory output indicates that tariffs on steel and aluminum are not weighing on the U.S. as much as critics claimed they would. And the new tariffs on Chinese products, combined with tax cuts, appear to be encouraging domestic manufacturers to expand production. The December industrial production numbers indicate that earlier anecdotal reports and surveys that suggested a manufacturing slowdown were offbase.
No kidding! More great news in this Trump economy! 🙂
In a stunning turnaround sparked by the improving economy and last December’s tax cuts, over 95 percent of manufacturers have turned bullish about their future, an all-time record. A new survey from the National Association of Manufacturers found that 95.1 percent of manufacturers have a “positive outlook for their companies.” That is the highest outlook number in the 20-year history of the group’s Outlook Survey. The report, said the group, comes on the six-month anniversary of passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and amid reports that manufacturers are increasing wages, hiring, and capital investments. “This record optimism is no accident. It is fueled by the game-changing tax reform passed six months ago,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. In a statement he added, “Last year, manufacturers promised that we would deliver for our people and our communities if tax reform became law. Congress and the president delivered, and now manufacturers are keeping our promise: hiring new workers, raising wages, improving benefits, buying equipment and expanding right here in the United States. And the best part is, with manufacturers’ record-setting confidence and plans to keep hiring and growing, more good news is yet to come.”
More great news in this Trump economy! 🙂
U.S. manufacturers expanded at a faster pace in December, boosted by a sharp increase in new orders. The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its manufacturing index rose to 59.7 last month from 58.2 in November. Any reading above 50 points to greater factory activity. Manufacturing has been expanding for the past 16 months. “With a report like this, I can’t do anything but smile,” said Tim Fiore, chair of the ISM manufacturing business survey committee. U.S. manufacturers have been helped this year by a solid global economy and a decline in the dollar’s value, which helps to make exports more competitive abroad. Firms will soon see whether the lower corporate tax rates signed into law by President Donald Trump will help to push profits and growth even higher. New orders jumped in December to the highest level since January 2004. Production also rose. The pace of hiring slipped, although it remained positive. The ISM, a trade association of purchasing managers, said 16 of 18 manufacturing industries expanded in December. Among the sectors seeing growth were machinery, computer and electronics and chemicals. Other measures point to steady growth. The Federal Reserve said that factory output in November had increased at an annual rate of 2.4 percent. Through the first 10 months of the year, factory orders have risen 5.6 percent, according to the Census Bureau.
Great news on the manufacturing front!
American factories accelerated in August at the fastest pace of expansion since 2011, data from the Institute for Supply Management showed Friday. The ISM purchasing manufacturers surveyed showed all six of the biggest manufacturing industries ramped up activity in August. The monthly purchasing managers index rose 2.5 points to 58.8, reflecting employment rising to its highest level since June of 2011, an increase in production and rising inventories. Economists had expected a reading of 56.5. Any reading over 50 indicates growth. Exports and new orders continued to show strong growth, although these slowed from July. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Friday that manufacturing employment increased the most since 2012. The sustained gains in manufacturing reflect rising consumer spending and business investment. The ISM number from Friday suggests that third quarter economic growth may be greater than previously thought. Some economists believe that the economy could be growing at a four percent pace right now.
How great would that be?!? More great news in this new Trump economy! Excellent! 🙂