American Manufacturing Continues to Grow
The ISM manufacturing index recently revealed an eighth consecutive month of growth for the American manufacturing market. As we’ve mentioned before, any ISM rating over 50% signals positive growth, and any rating below 50% signals contraction. The most recent ISM rating, for the month of April, indicated a 54.8% rating, which is pretty impressive. But that’s not the only good news for the American manufacturing industry.
Statistics show that there are currently more than 12 million American manufacturing workers. To put that number into perspective, there were just 11.4 million manufacturing workers in 2010 — that’s more than 600,000 new jobs added since. Just this year alone, manufacturing has added 50,000 jobs to the American manufacturing market. In comparison, only 16,000 new jobs were added to the manufacturing market in all of last year.
So, what factors are driving the manufacturing market’s growth? For starters, President Trump has announced plans to revive American manufacturing by encouraging companies to “reshore” jobs back to the U.S. Additionally, he’s expressed desire to renegotiate the NAFTA deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. While some analysts remain skeptical of President Trump’s plans, the recent ISM rating and other signals indicate the market is growing, which is a positive sign for workers and investors alike.
Apple Inc. also announced plans to invest $1 billion into strengthening the American manufacturing market. Earlier this month, Apple said that the first recipient of its funds will be Corning, the maker of durable glass for smartphones, tablets and other electronic products. Corning is known for its Gorilla Glass, which lives up to its namesake by offering a superior level of strength and durability. Based on New York, with a production plant in Kentucky, Corning has been a business partner of Apple for several years now. According to Corning CEO Wendell Weeks, this long-standing partnership between Apple and Corning had led to the creation of some 1,000 new manufacturing jobs in the U.S.
The U.S. is the world’s second largest manufacturer, only behind China. In the third quarter of 2016, manufacturers reported an industrial output of $2.18 trillion. The American manufacturing market hasn’t always seen this steady, strong growth. From 1983 to 2005, exports increased by 340%. Soon after, however, it suffered a period of contraction during which the market shrank. Currently, however, all signals point towards a strong manufacturing industry.