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Annual Survey of Manufactures: 2013

March 2, 2015 Comments off

Annual Survey of Manufactures: 2013
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

National-level data for manufacturing industry groups and industries at the three-, four-, five- and six-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) levels. Provides statistics on employment, payroll, supplemental labor costs, cost of materials consumed, operating expenses, value of shipments, value added by manufacturing, fuels and electric energy used, and inventories. Also provides statistics for each state and the District of Columbia as well as product shipments statistics at the seven-digit product class level. Survey statistics are released annually except for years ending in 2 and 7, at which time they are included in the manufacturing sector of the economic census.

CRS — U.S. Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Support (January 27, 2015)

February 11, 2015 Comments off

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Support (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Every President since Richard Nixon has sought to increase U.S. energy supply diversity. Job creation and the development of a domestic renewable energy manufacturing base have joined national security and environmental concerns as reasons for promoting the manufacturing of solar power equipment in the United States. The federal government maintains a variety of tax credits and targeted research and development programs to encourage the solar manufacturing sector, and state-level mandates that utilities obtain specified percentages of their electricity from renewable sources have bolstered demand for large solar projects.

The most widely used solar technology involves photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, which draw on semiconducting materials to convert sunlight into electricity. By year-end 2013, the total number of grid-connected PV systems nationwide reached more than 445,000. Domestic demand is met both by imports and by about 75 U.S. manufacturing facilities employing upwards of 30,000 U.S. workers in 2014. Production is clustered in a few states including California, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

America’s Advanced Industries: What They Are, Where They Are, and Why They Matter

February 3, 2015 Comments off

America’s Advanced Industries: What They Are, Where They Are, and Why They Matter
Source: Brookings Institution

The need for economic renewal in the United States remains urgent. Years of disappointing job growth and stagnant incomes for the majority of workers have left the nation shaken and frustrated. At the same time, astonishing new technologies—ranging from advanced robotics and “3-D printing” to the “digitization of everything”—are provoking genuine excitement even as they make it hard to see where things are going.

Hence this paper: At a critical moment, this report asserts the special importance to America’s future of what the paper calls America’s “advanced industries” sector.

Characterized by its deep involvement with technology research and development (R&D) and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workers, the sector encompasses 50 industries ranging from manufacturing industries such as automaking and aerospace to energy industries such as oil and gas extraction to high-tech services such as computer software and computer system design, including for health applications.

These industries encompass the nation’s “tech” sector at its broadest and most consequential. Their dynamism is going to be a central component of any future revitalized U.S. economy. As such, these industries encompass the country’s best shot at supporting innovative, inclusive, and sustainable growth. For that reason, this report provides a wide-angle overview of the advanced industry sector that reviews its role in American prosperity, assesses key trends, and maps its metropolitan and global competitive standing before outlining high-level strategies to enhance that.

China — Labor Rights Violations Continue in the Toy Industry

January 30, 2015 Comments off

Labor Rights Violations Continue in the Toy Industry
Source: China Labor Watch

China Labor Watch (CLW) today published a 66-page investigative report on continued labor rights violations in the toy industry. The four-factory investigation includes plants that manufacture for Mattel and Fisher-Price, Disney, Hasbro, Crayola, and other major international toy brand companies. During the investigation, the factories were making toys like Barbie, Mickey Mouse, Transformers’ Optimus Prime, and Thomas the Tank Engine.

The investigation, carried out from June to November 2014, targeted labor conditions in four facilities in Guangdong, China: Mattel Electronics Dongguan (MED), Zhongshan Coronet Toys (Coronet), Dongguan Chang’an Mattel Toys 2nd Factory (MCA), and Dongguan Lung Cheong Toys (Lung Cheong).

Collecting data through undercover probes and off-site worker interviews, the investigation exposes a set of 20 legal and ethical labor violations that include hiring discrimination, detaining workers’ personal IDs, lack of physical exams despite hazardous working conditions, workers required to sign training forms despite little or no safety training, a lack of protective equipment, ill-maintained production machinery, fire safety concerns, incomplete or nonexistent labor contracts, overtime hours of up to 120 hours per month, unpaid wages, underpaid social insurance, frequent rotation between day and night shifts, poor living conditions, environmental pollution, illegal resignation procedures, abusive management, audit fraud, and a lack of effective grievance channels and union representation.

See also: Working Conditions and Factory Auditing in the Chinese Toy Industry (Congressional-Executive Commission on China)
Hat tip: IWS Documented News Service

The Myth of America’s Manufacturing Renaissance: The Real State of U.S. Manufacturing

January 30, 2015 Comments off

The Myth of America’s Manufacturing Renaissance: The Real State of U.S. Manufacturing
Source: Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

To listen to most pundits and commentators, U.S. manufacturing has turned a corner and is roaring back after the precipitous decline during the 2000s. Long gone are the dismal days when manufacturing jobs and output were lost due to foreign competition. Higher foreign labor costs, cheap oil and gas here at home and automation are combining to make America the new global manufacturing hub: at least according the now dominant narrative. Indeed, the term “manufacturing renaissance” is used to describe this new state of affairs.

However, as a new ITIF report shows, the data do not support such a rosy scenario. In fact, at the end of 2013 (the most recent year available) real manufacturing value added (the best measure of the health of U.S. manufacturing) was still 3.2 percent below 2007 levels, despite GDP growth of 5.6 percent. Moreover, there are still two million fewer jobs and 15,000 fewer manufacturing establishments than there were in 2007. Much of the growth since 2010 appears to be caused by a cyclical recovery as demand, particularly for motor vehicles and other durable goods, returns. In fact, 72 percent of jobs gained and 187 percent of the heralded real value added growth in manufacturing between 2010 and 2013 came from transportation sector or primary and fabricated metals.

It is true that some jobs are being brought back to the United States. However, reshoring numbers are modest and the manufacturing sector is also still sending jobs overseas, roughly at the same rate. While this new equilibrium between companies coming and going is certainly an improvement over rapid off-shoring, it is hardly indicative of a renaissance.

A snapshot of industry in Europe

December 19, 2014 Comments off

A snapshot of industry in Europe
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

This document draws on the recently published study How can European Industry contribute to Growth and Foster European Competitiveness?, aiming to complement it by presenting an overview of specific indicators that further illustrate the current situation of Europe’s industry.

Beginning with a snapshot of the distribution of employment by sector and the contribution of industry to the gross value added in the EU’s regions, it then goes on to chart medium- term developments in labour productivity and in industrial output across Member States. It looks at how manufacturing sectors with different technology levels have been affected during the crisis years. An analysis of the major manufacturing sectors follows, comparing performance in terms of turnover, employment and investment. It concludes with a picture of the exports of manufactured goods from Member States, both within the EU and with the rest of the world.

U.S. Census Bureau: 2012 Manufacturing and International Trade Report (Released December 18, 2014)

December 18, 2014 Comments off

2012 Manufacturing and International Trade Report
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

This new annual report from the U.S. Census Bureau will, for the first time, provide a comprehensive comparison between detailed manufacturing product class data and associated import and export data. The data are published on a North American Industry Classification System basis from the 2012 Economic Census Industry Series, presented with official U.S. export and import merchandise trade statistics. Future reports will also incorporate statistics from the Annual Survey of Manufactures.

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