2012 Off to a Great Start for Manufacturing

The Federal Reserve reported that manufacturing output increased by 0.7% during the month of January. However, with an increase of 1.5% December of last year has remained the best month in terms of growth since December 2006. As a result manufacturers have been hiring on a more consistent basis compared to other industries.

Industrial production output, including utilities and mines, remained unchanged in January. Utility output actually saw a decline during last month, with a drop of nearly 2.5 percent. This decrease may have been affected by the uncommonly warm winter which left many Americans with lower heating bills. Mining production also dropped in January. But factory output was the month’s saving grace. Manufacturing production has increased by 16.7 percent since its lowest point in June 2009, during the peak of the recession. However, factory output remains below its December 2007 high point of 7.1 percent.

The past two consecutive months showing strong manufacturing growth could prove to be a signal that the economy will continue to grow at a steady pace in 2012. The increase in production coincides with the consistent rise in hiring over the past five months, which has ultimately helped lower the unemployment rate to 8.3 percent. Although no one believes the manufacturing industry will ever be able to return to its pinnacle in the 1950s, seeing as the factory sector makes up only one tenth of today’s economy, factories have greatly contributed to recent economic recovery. Aside from increased hiring, one of the main reasons economists say manufacturing has made a positive impact is because consumers and businesses have begun making purchases that they had put off during the recession.  Consumers are reported to be buying more cars and household appliances while businesses are again investing in industrial equipment and technology.

The government reports that, in January, factories added a net 50,000 workers to the job market. Last year, factories alone created 13 percent of new jobs. Consistent growth in the manufacturing industry has also encouraged hiring in related industries such as warehousing, shipping and auto sales. A spike in hiring confidence presents the perfect opportunity to ensure your workforce is properly trained. A staff that is well educated and which possesses all necessary industrial skills helps enhance productivity and ultimately increases your bottom line. The benefits from industrial skills training are endless and with the right courseware you’ll be sure to boost your factory output too. Contact ITC Learning today to learn more about how our industrials skills training courseware is right for your business.

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