Manufacturing Job Numbers At 10-Month High

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manufacturing jobs growingBy Christopher S. Rugaber


WASHINGTON -- U.S. manufacturing grew last month at the fastest pace in 10 months, suggesting that the economy is healthier than recent data had indicated.

New orders, production and a measure of hiring all rose. The April survey from the Institute for Supply Management was a hopeful sign ahead of Friday's monthly jobs report and helped the Dow Jones industrial average end the day at its highest level in more than four years.

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The trade group of purchasing managers said Tuesday that its index of manufacturing activity reached 54.8 in April, the highest level since June. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.

The sharp increase surprised analysts, who had predicted a decline after several regional reports showed manufacturing growth weakened last month. The gain led investors to shift money out of bonds and into stocks. The Dow Jones industrial added 66 points to 13,279, its best close since Dec. 28, 2007. Broader indexes also surged.

The ISM manufacturing index is closely watched in part because it's the first major economic report for each month. April's big gain followed a series of weaker reports in recent weeks that showed hiring slowed, applications for unemployment benefits rose and factory output dropped.

"This survey will ease concerns that the softer tone of the incoming news in recent months marked the start of a renewed slowdown in growth," Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients. "We think the latest recovery is made of sterner stuff, although we doubt it will set the world alight."

The latest reading is well above the recession low of 33.1 and above the long-run average of 52.8. But it's still below the pre-recession high of 61.4.

Dan Meckstroth, chief economist at the Manufacturers' Alliance, notes that in the past 20 years, the index has been at or above 54.8 only one-third of the time.

A measure of employment in the ISM's survey rose to a 10-month high. That indicates that factories are hiring at a solid pace.

A gauge of new orders jumped to its highest level in a year. That could signal faster production in the coming months. Export orders also rose, offsetting worries that weaker economies in Europe and China could drag on U.S. exports.

A separate report showed China's factory sector is still growing. A survey of purchasing managers in China found that the manufacturing sector expanded for the fifth straight month in April.

Rich Bergmann, managing director of Accenture's global manufacturing practice, said large manufacturers are driving U.S. growth. They are pushing their suppliers to boost output, which has led many to hire more workers.

Large companies are also helping smaller companies in their supply chain, Bergmann said, by guaranteeing a certain level of orders or helping smaller companies obtain financing to expand.

"There's just a tremendous trickle-down effect in these industries," Bergmann said. "That's a very positive trend that we think will continue."

Boeing reported a 58 percent jump in profit in the January-March quarter. Orders for its more-fuel-efficient 737 jetliner soared. The company added 11,000 employees last year.

The global airplane manufacturer's growth has benefited companies like Charlotte, N.C.-based Goodrich Corp., which makes aircraft components. Its sales to large aircraft makers jumped 27 percent in the first quarter.

Caterpillar, the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, last week reported that its profit grew 29 percent in the January-March quarter. The company said it is boosting its manufacturing capacity to handle a record backlog of orders.

Small companies are also reporting big gains. Boston-based Spreadshirt.com, which prints custom T-shirts, other clothing and accessories, plans to start production at a new plant in Las Vegas in July. The company's revenue doubled in the first three months of this year.

The company is about to sign a five-year lease for the Las Vegas factory and has purchased about $1 million in new printing equipment. The company plans to hire nearly 100 people by the end of this year, on top of its current work force of 150.

"I'm pretty confident that we can sustain this growth," said Mark Venezia, vice president for global sales and marketing. "We're opening up a new facility banking on that."

Factories account for only about 9 percent of total payrolls but added 13 percent of the new jobs last year. Manufacturers have added 120,000 jobs in the past three months, about one-fifth of all net gains.

Economists predict manufacturers added 20,000 jobs in April, according to a survey by FactSet.

Still, manufacturing represents only about 12 percent of economic activity. Other areas continue to struggle.

A separate report showed U.S. builders barely increased their spending on construction projects in March after two straight months of declines. A pickup in single-family home construction and commercial projects offset a steep drop in state and local government building.

The 0.1 percent gain left construction spending at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $808.1 billion, the Commerce Department said. That's roughly half the level of what economists consider to be healthy.


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Winnie

If it is, it's not because of Obama. Everytime things start to look better, he wants more money to raise the debt thinking it's going to help the economy. He is really trying to bankrupt America. If the economy shows some improvement, it's because of the people themselves who have brought the country out of all the depressions.

May 03 2012 at 6:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard

Rich Bergmann, managing director of Accenture's global manufacturing practice, said large manufacturers are driving U.S. growth. They are pushing their suppliers to boost output, which has led many to hire more workers. OH MY GOD, THOSE BIG EVIL CORPORATIONS ARE PROVIDING JOBS, HEAR THAT OWS PROTESTERS ? YOU BETTER SHUT THEM DOWN OR ELSE THEY WILL HAVE EVERYONE WORKING AGAIN.

Large companies are also helping smaller companies in their supply chain, Bergmann said, by guaranteeing a certain level of orders or helping smaller companies obtain financing to expand. OH NO, WE CAN'T HAVE THAT, HOW COULD THE OWS PROTESTERS JUSTIFY SHUTING DOWN
CORPORATIONS THAT HELP SMALL COMPANIES GET FINANCING TO EXPAND. GRUMBLE GRUMBLE GRUMBLE, DIRTY CORPORATIONS, BAD, OWS PROTESTERS GOOD. LOL

"There's just a tremendous trickle-down effect in these industries," Bergmann said. "That's a very positive trend that we think will continue." OH MY, SAY IT ISN'T SO, TRICKLE DOWN EFFECT, THAT CAN'T BE GOOD, LEFTIST HAVE ALWAYS SAID TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS IS A FALSE PREMISE. LOL

Well isn't that a kick in the pants to every liberal in America. And an especially hard kick in the pants for Obama's stated economic policies.

And if this manufacturing rise is in fact true, it has nothing to do with Obama and his policies. It does in fact fly in the face of everything the democrats have told us about how the economy works. This looks exactly like the model described by republicans of how the economy is supposed to work and how trickle down economics works in both the manufacturing sector and in the tax policies that enable the manufacturing sector to thrive and expand. There is a lesson to be learned here by democrats.

May 03 2012 at 2:51 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Richard's comment
stinkyheadzzz

YADA YADA YADA OBAMA '12

May 03 2012 at 5:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
birdsnst

It just keeps getting worse and worse for the GOP. In spite of all their effort to make Obama fail, bordering on treason I should add, It just keeps moving up. Slowly, but up. When you consider that it was handed to him in free fall, it's a wonder that it has moved up at all. And by the way, Gas? Down .20 here in GA. But as they say, a week is eternity in politics, but considering what the repubs have pulled on this man, I can't believe how well he has done in spite of all that has been done and all the lies and innuendo sent his way, He just keeps coming out on top. Refreshing. If this continues, we may see the demise of the relevance of the GOP. Or have we already seen it? And now that Ryan has been caught with Ayn Rand (google it) as his hero, even the anti Christianity of the GOP has been exposed. When the evangelicals wake up and realize this, it's over.


Papa
www.papatrains.com

May 03 2012 at 12:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John

BULLSHIT ! Just look at the Dept. of Labor unemployment reports. No body is hiring the are just burying the lucky ones with a job with more and more work which works out to less overhead costs for the company and bigger profits.

May 02 2012 at 11:17 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
gbaker9916

The ADP employment report shows the private sector added 119,000 jobs in April, significantly fewer than the 177,000 jobs expected.

May 02 2012 at 10:06 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Bob

This headline has been brought to you by Obama and MoveOn.org.....it is not based on reality.

May 02 2012 at 8:04 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Bob's comment
Michelle Mason

You keep believing that. The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't lie....

May 02 2012 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Michelle Mason's comment
John

True 8%+ unemployment holding steady compared to 4.5% average for 30+ years pre Obama Board of Labor numbers don't lie. Sorry Michelle the economy like it or not was better under Bush crappy as he was. Homes were not being foreclosed in record numbers, Americans were not losing thier jobs, The Secret Service wasn't screwing around with ******, 7 million dollar dinner dates in NY didn't happen the first week in office, N. Korea was behaving, Iran was not as ballsy, China didn't own most of the national debit, We didn't have to beg Russia for a ride to
our Space Station like it or not we built it and paid for the majority of it.

May 02 2012 at 11:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
Trudy405

Anybody with a little intelligence would know this... I hope....!!!

May 02 2012 at 11:28 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
nflamingo

I know people who have been looking jobs any kind of jobs........so how it be that things are better?

May 02 2012 at 7:56 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
brothersgroucho

Even a bigger boom when O is defeated.

May 02 2012 at 5:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to brothersgroucho's comment
alycemd

You'll have to wait four more years for that!

May 02 2012 at 11:06 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
mitch rochelle

this is bad news.......... for the republicans

May 02 2012 at 5:41 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Winnie

If the economy is improving, it's the people, as history shows, not Obama. There is still a record number of unemployed.

May 02 2012 at 3:55 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

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