It boggles the mind, the different messages out there as to whether there’s health in the manufacturing job sector, or whether doom and gloom is rapidly gaining ground. While the Society for Human Resource Management recently published a report, Leading Indicators of National Employment, that is in general bullish on the job front, not so a Wall Street Advisor report that says we’re tanking.
The first report predicts mixed hiring trends and fewer layoffs this year. They say that January will be slow in the hiring process, and that manufacturing year over year will decrease approximately 4.5 points. However they report that nearly 27% of manufacturers will add jobs in January, and the labor market for the segment will improve during the year.
The second report is actually a memo to clients from David John Marotta, president of Marotta Wealth Management, published in the Washington Examiner. In this memo, Marotta states that the true unemployment rate is way up to 37.2% versus the 6.7% touted by the government in December. When figuring the misery index, adding inflation and unemployment, it comes out to 14.7%, the worst in 40 years versus 7.5% if you used government data. An article on The Blaze takes Marotta’s figures to task, saying that you can’t subtract labor force participation from 100, representing full labor force participation.
Somewhere in between these two reports is a foot on a small parcel of reality.
So, I thought I’d take a different look at it, without publishing actual unemployment numbers, just to see if I can capture any trends.
- TI cutting 1,100 jobs in embedded processing and in Japan
- Intel to dump 5,000 plus in so-far unnamed units, reducing its workforce by approximately 5%, but saying it isn’t a layoff. Huh?
- Hewlett Packard also plans to let 5,000 go
- IBM is “rebalancing” (read cutting) its workforce based on a hardware division slump, including manufacturing operation s in Dutchess County. Total to be rebalanced not yet available.
- TRW in Saginaw -- 600 jobs
- Ford Assembly in Avon Lake, Ohio, at least 100
- Bombardier -- third largest aircraft manufacturer -- 1700 jobs
- Boeing -- layoffs started last year for up to 2,300 jobs.
This list represents the headlines. So, where do you think reality is? What do you see for this year from your vantage point? From mine, I have such a hard time thinking that this year will end anywhere near a job upswing, or even a job net gain. It would be nice to see numbers that didn’t have a political raison d’etre, or an add-more-money-to-your-portfolio one.