Manufacturing rises to highest level since April 2009

08.13.2012


Manufacturing rises to highest level since April 2009
Manufacturing rises to highest level since April 2009

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest monthly employment report showed the U.S. economy added 163,000 private-sector jobs, much higher than the 105,000 jobs analysts had predicted, and far beyond the 80,000 jobs added in June.

Among those new jobs were several in the manufacturing industry, which has been helping the U.S. recovery press on for years now. The data showed the U.S. manufacturing sector added 25,000 jobs last month, up from the 11,000 jobs that were added in June. Within the industry, the transportation equipment and metal fabrication sectors added the most new jobs.

The report describes manufacturing as any goods-producing sector of the economy. This includes both the construction and mining sectors, and suggests that employment in the manufacturing of goods could have been even higher, considering the construction sector lost 1,000 jobs last month.

Across the economy, there are about 11.9 million manufacturing-related jobs - the highest level of manufacturing staffing since April 2009, according to Forbes. The level is approaching the 12.03 million mark that was hit that year.

But, despite the improving manufacturing landscape, the industry is still regarded as one of the hardest places for human resources professionals and recruiters to find new hires, according to the Leading indicators of National Employment report from the Society of Human Resource Management.

The report found that recruiting difficulty increased by 1.2 points in the manufacturing sector compared with the same period last year. These results suggest that consumers are driving up demand for goods as they spend more, in turn increasing the need for manufacturing. This comes at a time when companies are bringing their manufacturing back to U.S. soil, according to the Huffington Post.

The difficulties in hiring for the sector can be traced back to growing employee turnover, as many of these jobs are entry-level positions with a relatively low average tenure. When hiring managers factor in increased sales and production forecasts and the need for highly trained workers, hiring for the manufacturing appears to grow slightly more difficult.

"HR professionals in the manufacturing and services sectors also reported a slight year-over-year increase in recruiting difficulty for their jobs of most strategic importance," said Jennifer Schramm, GPHR, and manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM. "The rise in the employment expectations and recruiting difficulty indices are faint but positive signs nonetheless."

According to the news source, as companies begin to look over their 2013 business and staffing plans, many will see the the improving jobs landscape as an opportunity to improve their hiring process.

But the hiring isn't limited to just the manufacturing industry. Across the economy, employers are posting more jobs, and now, businesses have posted the most openings in four years.

According to the U.S. Labor Department, job openings rose to 3.8 million in June, compared with 3.7 million in May - the most since July 2008. This, however, has not led to a lack of competition for jobs, with 12.7 million unemployed in June, the equivalent of 3.4 unemployed people for every open job. Economists say the healthiest ratio would be about 2 to 1, according to The Associated Press.

The latest report also showed the number of people who quit their jobs fell slightly to 2.1 million, from 2.2 million in June. This, however, is still higher than the same period last year, when only 1.9 million quit their jobs. 

Job Search