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Manufacturing Looks Strong at the Close of 2014

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Across every sector, overall economic activity has been on the rise for just over 60 consecutive months, and as we enter the final quarter of 2014, this trend remains unbroken. As for the manufacturing sector, the news looks promising as a trend of steady growth extends into its 16th consecutive month. According to the PMI index (sometimes called the ISM), a reading of over 50 percent indicates general expansion in the manufacturing sector, and the five indicators that make up the index have been well within the 50 percent range (or above) all summer.

These five indicators are based on broadly reported averages for 1) new orders, 2) inventory levels, 3) production, 4) supplier deliveries and 5) the employment environment. In all five areas, averages have steadily exceed 50 percent all summer long, continuing a slow pattern of steady growth that’s been in place since the middle of last year. Imports, exports and prices have also exceeded 50 percent for the past several months, and signs indicate that this growth will continue into 2015.

The growth pattern for hiring rates corresponds with the Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2014, and this data indicates that hiring will remain strong for the rest of the year. So what will this mean for your hiring prospects? Will you face increasing competition for targeted talent, or will have you have a broad pool of applicants entering or re-entering the field after an extended absence? The answer will depend on several factors.

  1. What level of training will your open positions require? Keep in mind that taking on untrained candidates and providing focused training in-house can mean payroll discounts that can be extended over time.
  2. What are the market conditions in your geographic area? Finding high-demand employees may be easier in highly populated metropolitan areas.
  3. How lean is your long-term hiring strategy? Are you waiting until the last minute to take on new staff? Or are you hiring high-potential employees and then adapting those positions as the need arises?

Consider facing the year ahead with a long-term staffing plan in effect, and if contingency hiring isn’t part of your employment model, it may be time to investigate this option. Contact the expert recruiters at Career Staffing Services and find out how we can keep your business competitive and your plans on track.

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