Day: April 2, 2009

Manufacturing Contracts in March

Manufacturing contracted again in March for the 14th consecutive month, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.

The Institute for Supply Management report read: "The rapid decline in manufacturing appears to have moderated somewhat, as the PMI remains in the mid-30s for a third consecutive month. While the PMI is slightly higher in March, the New Orders Index offers greater encouragement, as it rose above the 40-percent mark for the first time in seven months.

"The Production Index showed no benefit as yet from the improvement in new orders, as it continued to decline at a rate similar to March. The rate of decline in the Employment Index slowed slightly, and the same held true for the Prices Index. A special question was asked ...

ISM Report: 34% of Respondents Expect Their Company to Benefit From Stimulus

The Institute for Supply Management added what it called "special questions" to the end of this month's Report on Business on expectations regarding the Economic Stimulus Package.

ISM said the questions were structured to determine if respondents believed their industry and organization would benefit from the program as they understand it.

Of all respondents, 36 percent indicate that their industry will benefit. The industries with a majority of respondents indicating they expect to benefit are: Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Primary Metals; and Machinery.

Thirty-four percent of respondents indicate that their company will benefit from the ...

New Orders for Manufactured Goods Up 1.8% in February

New orders for manufactured goods in February, up following six consecutive monthly decreases, increased $6.1 billion or 1.8% to $352.2 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau in a preliminary report. This followed a 3.5% January decrease.
This data is an update to the Advance data released March 25. This report provides more details on the month's performance.
Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.6%. Shipments, down seven consecutive months, decreased $0.4 billion or 0.1% to $365.9 billion. This was the longest streak of consecutive monthly decreases since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed a 2.6% January decrease.
Unfilled orders, down five consecutive months, decreased $10.7 billion or 1.4% to ...

How Did Manufacturing & Construction Fare in March Employment Reports?

The employment numbers out today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are not great - we have now hit 8.5% unemployment nationally. Since December 2007, the U.S. has lost 5.1 million jobs, with two-thirds of that decrease happening in the past five months. Job losses were widespread.
Wholesale trade saw a decline of 31,000 in March, with nearly all the decline in durable goods.
How did manufacturing and construction fare?
According to data found here, manufacturing employment in March fell by 161,000, with widespread losses among component industries. Factory employment fell by 1 million over the past six months. The largest decreases in March were in fabricated ...

ISA American Eagle Winners Named

The Industrial Supply Association (ISA) has announced the recipients of its 2009 American Eagle Awards. The American Eagle Award honors ISA member companies who have contributed significantly to improving relationships with their partners in the industrial supply channel as well as their surrounding communities.
This year's winners were ARC Abrasives (Value-Added Manufacturer), Duncan Industrial Solutions (Value-Added Distributor), and Weinacht and Associates (Value-Added Independent Manufacturers' Representative).
Iowa Machinery is the winner of this year's Corporate Citizenship Award. Walter Surface Technologies and Acklands-Grainger have both won this year's Value-Added Partner Award.
Award winners will be recognized during the Opening ...

Legal Risks in Layoffs

In doing research for an article on downsizing to be published in our next issue of MDM April 10, I came across this piece on the WARN Act from Fisher & Phillips LLP. MDM has tapped Fisher & Phillips as a source in the past for some of our articles on legal issues employers face.
As the author of this timely article points out: "When times are tough, the last thing a struggling business needs is a class-action lawsuit claiming the former employees are entitled to 60 days' additional pay under federal or state law."
The federal WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) governs how employers handle laying off large ...

Advanced Morale Boosting: How to Keep Employees Up When Everything Else is Down

60 minutes

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Uncertainty - and there's plenty of it around these days - is bad for employee morale. Workers need security. Their productivity - and maybe even your ability to retain them - depends on how firmly they believe your company is going to be all right, their jobs are safe, and their career is on track. In the past maybe you could get by with regular pats on the back and occasional words of encouragement. No more. These are exceptional times and companies need to proactively manage morale like never before. 

This 60-minute conference will lay out the five most common mistakes companies make that kill employee morale in difficult financial ..."