The manufacturing sector is performing well, and recent statistics indicate that there is demand for copious new orders and production. The Institute of Supply Management reported that the industry expanded in November, which meant this was the 102nd consecutive month of growth. For those who work in manufacturing or are seeking employment, this news can only be positive; this means that the the overarching market for manufacturers and manufacturing job seekers improved.
The Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) saw a very slight decrease for the past month, dropping 0.5 percent to 58.2 percent. However, The New Orders Index was up to 64 percent by a 0.6 percentage point and the Production Index also saw an increase to 63.9 percent.
Sectors performing well
The expansion of manufacturing means that U.S. output is also on the rise and there are likely more manufacturing jobs available. If there is more demand for production, then there will be greater demand for workers, which can only be good for the unemployment rate which currently sits at 4.1 percent for the month of October - the most recent data available - according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This marks a slight decrease from the previous month, September, where unemployment was at 4.2 percent. Both months demonstrate a marked drop from August, where the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent.
The employment index for manufacturing was at 59.7 percent for November, which actually saw a slight decrease from October, where the recorded value was 59.8 percent. Since the change is so small, it is highly unlikely that this is cause for concern.
That being said, many manufacturing industries have experienced growth in the past month. Most notably, 14 of the 18 fields saw gains, the top being Paper Products, Machinery, Transportation Equipment, Computer & Electronic Products, Nonmetallic Mineral Products and Plastics & Rubber Products. The information gathered for the report represents manufacturing across the U.S. and does not have any particular regional focus.
Global manufacturing also up
This positive news for the manufacturing sector is not limited to the U.S. According to Quartz, it is thriving globally as well: The global manufacturing PMI was up 0.5 percent in November to 54 percent as more companies are producing and exporting goods. Output is up, the source noted, because global trade and the world economy also experienced improved conditions over the past month. In other countries, UK manufacturing saw its highest level in over 4 years, while the Euro PMI hit 60.1, marking its second peak since it reached an all-time high back in 2000. On the other hand, China experienced its lowest PMI in five months, and manufacturing jobs were lost in this country across the month of November.
In the U.S., those interested in pursuing a manufacturing-based career may be encouraged by these figures as it does indicate that the sector is thriving and opportunities are available. If the industry continues to expand as does the economy, this may mean more favorable conditions for the country as a whole.
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