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Every dollar paid to manufacturing workers is multiplied across the economy as it is spent to support other areas of the economy. From food to energy, to local businesses and more, the value of manufacturing only begins with the creation of the end product.

But, what does that mean?

It means that manufacturing is vital to the economy. And, for companies and professionals, opportunities abound.

There are a variety of economic indicators that are reported monthly, quarterly and annually. All of these show a sliver of the value of manufacturing to the broader economy. SME has been a part of the industry for more than 80 years, so we know a few things about manufacturing. By deciphering a few of these data points, we would like to help everyone understand that true value of manufacturing.



U.S. Manufacturing: SME Checks the Levels
February 8, 2017

While there were some ups and downs last year, 2016 was a year growth for manufacturing; we’re also pleased to note that January was as strong: manufacturing production last month experienced its strongest growth in nearly two years, according to the Markit U.S. Manufacturing PMI report. Mirroring Markit’s report, The Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Report on Business also found January hitting a manufacturing outlook strength not seen in two years.

Among the cloudy stories we’d seen, were speculation about personal income and its growth or decline. In truth, personal income from manufacturing wages and salaries grew nearly three percent from 2015, contributing an extra $21.6 billion to individual pocketbooks.

We’ve kept our eye on the manufacturing skills gap, too: does it continue to be a force behind unfilled openings that continue in manufacturing? All the news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics points to yes – job openings continued to rise in December, while layoffs continued to decline.

Stay tuned! We’re going to use our data points and facts in the coming weeks to frame these and other discussions about manufacturing. Via these notes, and other means, you’ll learn about areas of strength in American manufacturing and how SME is involved – utilizing our more than 80 years of experience.



Manufacturing isn't dead
December 7, 2016

Lately, we’ve seen manufacturing as a key soundbite in pre- and post-election discussion. It’s great to see manufacturing as such a hot topic, though the conversation has tended to paint a picture of a struggling and contracted industry. This couldn’t be farther from the truth – and recent economic reports showcase that.

Between 2008 and 2009 the United States hit the greatest recession since the Great Depression, and manufacturing took a hard hit. However,  today, our country is producing nearly 40 percent more goods than we did 20 years ago.

U.S. Manufacturing Output

November saw the fastest rise in output in 20 months, according to Markit Economics, with boosts to new order growth, payroll numbers and production volumes. And, as The Wall Street Journal explains, the recent reduction in manufacturing employment has more to do with retirements and struggles to find qualified new employees than it does with actual job losses.

It’s true that the manufacturing landscape is evolving. But don’t let anyone tell you that American manufacturing is down and out. Opportunities continue to exist for businesses and workers alike, and We’re proud to be a part of manufacturing’s past, present and future.




No Tea Leaves Necessary
September 7, 2016

Manufacturing Craves Workers
August 10, 2016

Workers Return to the Labor Market, Jobs Beat Expectations
August 5, 2016

Manufacturing: Long-term Optimism; Near-term Improvement
August 2, 2016