NAM: Manufacturing Job Openings Remain ‘Very Elevated’ BY CHAD MOUTRAY Manufacturing job openings eased slightly from a record 825,000 in April to 814,000 in May but remained very ele-
the coming months for their businesses to post new jobs. Yet, manufacturing business leaders continue to cite diffi- culties with attracting and retaining talent as one of their top concerns. Nonfarm business job openings rose from 9,193,000 in April to 9,209,000 in May, a new record. The May survey reported 9,316,000 unemployed Americans, which trans- lates to 1.01 unemployed workers for every one job open- ing in the U.S. economy. That figure represents a phe- nomenal improvement from 4.99 unemployed workers for every one job opening in April 2020. Nonfarm business layoffs dropped from 1,450,000 in April to 1,368,000, the lowest level on record for a series dating to December 2000. Meanwhile, layoffs in the man- ufacturing sector edged down from 112,000 to 110,000. Initial unemployment claims totaled 373,000 for the week ending July 2, little changed from 371,000 for the week ending June 26 and remaining near a post-pandem- ic low.
vated, according to Chad Moutray, Ph.D. and Chief Economist at the National Association of Manufac- turers (NAM). With strong demand and a need to ramp up production, manufacturers must hire more workers to be able to increase capacity, pushing job postings to unprecedented levels.
These data offer an encouraging sign that manufactur- ers feel confident enough about economic growth over
DESIGNS THAT INCREASE PRODUCTION
U.S. consumer credit outstanding jumped 11.0 percent in May. Americans had been less willing to take on revolving credit, with many paying down their balances over the course of the past year. This suggests that consum- ers were opening their wallets more in May, incurring more debt in the process. Financial market participants worried last week about the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 globally, pushing Treasury yields to the lowest rates since February and weigh- ing on equity markets. This trend stands in contrast to what has otherwise been a solid outlook for the second half of this year. How- ever, increased vaccination rates have al- ways been the key to reducing the risk of ad- ditional outbreaks and renewed restrictions. Releases this week will comprise several key readings on the health of the U.S. econo- my, including updates on consumer and pro- ducer prices, industrial production and retail sales. Manufacturers continue to be challenged by accelerated price growth and will be look- ing for signs of stabilization on the inflation front in the coming months, if not in the June data that will be released this week. The Federal Reserve has been banking on sizable price growth being transitory. However, incoming data could force its hand to start tapering asset purchases and hiking interest rates faster than currently outlined. NAM represents 14,000 member compa- nies—from small businesses to global lead- ers—in every industrial sector, and is the nation’s most effective resource and most influential advocate for these values and for manufacturers across the country .
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July 19, 2021
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