Attitudes are optimistic in the manufacturing sector. Owners of manufacturing businesses are excited to have an ally in the White House. Manufacturing employees are excited about increased hiring here in the U.S., in part thanks to rising wages for foreign workers. The rising wages and supportive environment for manufacturing are driving hiring and investment here in the U.S. Andrew Tangel and Josh Zumbrun report:
Employment numbers point to the overall progress. The U.S. manufacturers have added 156,000 workers since Donald Trump was elected president in November 2016, according to government data.
That is a clear turnaround from the loss of 16,000 such jobs during the final year of Barack Obama’s administration, although the recent growth hasn’t surpassed manufacturing payroll increases in 2011 and 2014, when the sector gained more than 200,000 jobs.
Also, business investment has risen, a sign companies are spending to increase productivity. In the first quarter, investment in plants climbed a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14.8%, the highest since early 2014. Investment in equipment climbed 8.8% in the second quarter, the highest in almost two years.
A confluence of factors is helping manufacturing, according to Stanley Black & DeckerInc. Chief Executive James Loree, who cited a shrinking wage differential between U.S. and foreign workers and rapid technological advances in the sector. In his particular business, “end users love locally made products,” Mr. Loree added in an interview on Tuesday.
“Global macroeconomic conditions are solid,” Rockwell Automation Inc. Chief Executive Blake Moret told analysts, citing “strong orders” and optimistic forecasts for global economic growth and industrial production.
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