Weekly Roundup – Challenges faced by manufacturing, Growth in manufacturing jobs, holiday inflation forecast, and more – Week of 11/07/22

Weekly roundup blog

Consumer Inflation Eased to 7.7% Over Past 12 Months

Paul Wiseman |   Nov 10, 2022 | IEN

WASHINGTON (AP) — Price increases moderated in the United States last month in the latest sign that the inflation pressures that have gripped the nation might be easing as the economy slows and consumers grow more cautious. A separate gauge called core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, rose 6.3% in the past 12 months and 0.3% from September. “We expect this to mark the start of a much longer disinflationary trend that we think will convince the Fed to halt its (hikes) early next year,” said Paul Ashworth, chief North American economist at Capital Economics, a consulting firm. ” With supply shortages normalizing, deflationary pressure is now finally showing up.” Many economists have warned that in continuing to tighten credit, the central bank is likely to cause a recession by next year. Higher mortgage rates have depressed sales.

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Manufacturing Faces Challenges to Maintain Growth, Deloitte Says

Bill Koenig |   Nov 10, 2022 | SME

Manufacturing is confronting challenges to maintaining economic expansion, consulting firm Deloitte said in a report. The consulting firm surveyed more than 100 executives and other leaders in August. Respondents were in industries including machinery, electrical equipment, aerospace, and automotive. Other types of technology included the Internet of Things (39 percent), additive manufacturing (33 percent), and cloud computing (32 percent). Manufacturing also will continue to develop smart factory systems because “these initiatives drive future competitiveness,” Deloitte said in the report. This prevailing workforce shortage…is reducing operational efficiency and margins.”

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A Guide to Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) in Manufacturing

Manufacturing Tomorrow | Nov 9, 2022 | Manufacturing Tomorrow

Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) have been around for two decades now, but recently they have begun to proliferate throughout the manufacturing industry. They also suffer from far little interference from machinery and Wi-Fi signals. Is the software hosted on site or in the cloud? Will the software scale with the business? Managing limited numbers of expensive tools, worker safety, and production logistics helps to reduce the overall spend on these complex production processes. The ability for RTLS systems to observe parts and machinery and offer reports based on a variety of data (including visual, infra-red, and vibration data) can save time and money on each production cycle.

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October Jobs Growth in Manufacturing Accelerates

Ryan Secard |     Nov 4, 2022 | Industry Week

October was a positive month for job growth in manufacturing, according to the latest data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Nov. 4 on the U.S. employment situation. It was a strong month for hiring in the rest of the private economy, too, which added 261,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate rose by 0.2 of a percentage point to 3.7%.

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Overcoming Warehouse Labor Shortages with Human-Machine Collaboration

Axel Schmidt |   Nov 3, 2022 | IMPO

Despite the promise of the Autonomous Factory, most everyone knows that a factory without people will not be possible in the foreseeable future. There are many arguments in favor of robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence over humans. An analysis by Research and Markets concludes that the costs for commissioning 50 to 100 robots lands somewhere between $2 and $4 million dollars. Technology is not a means to replace human workers, but to provide them with relieve. This message needs to be firmly anchored, especially given the current labor shortages and disruptions in global supply chains. The idea of augmenting workers with wearable barcode scanners and cobots can provide efficiency leaps, but above all, it leads to immediate results and creates profitable incentives for organizations.

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American Workers Feel Alienated, Helpless & Overwhelmed

Alec Stubbs, UMass Boston |    Nov 10, 2022 | IEN

Then it was “nobody wants to work anymore.” In the U.S., full-time employed workers work an average of 8.72 hours per day despite productivity increases. In contrast to how work is currently organized under capitalism, democratic worker control humanizes work by allowing workers to determine their own working conditions, to own the full value of their labor, to dictate the structure and nature of their jobs and, crucially, to determine their own working hours. Instead, labor-saving technologies mean workers are more likely to face unemployment and downward pressure on wages. Workers report feeling less stressed and less burned out. But one thing is clear: As long as work remains the dictates of shareholders rather than the workers themselves, much work will remain a source of alienation and will persist as an organizing feature of American life.

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The Semiconductor Summary: Who’s Building Chips Where?

Industry Week |    Nov 10, 2022 | Industry Week

Both before and after the August passage of the CHIPs Act providing federal support, 2022 has seen a spree of announcements by tech companies promising to build up domestic chip production. The acute chip shortage suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic and the chronic shortage caused by ensuing supply chain issues has given rise to a newly burgeoning landscape in semiconductor, computer electronics, and related supply factory announcements. This slideshow aims to provide a birds-eye view of all the latest announcements with implications for the future of computer electronics manufacturing in the United States.

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NRF: Strong consumer fundamentals counter inflation, interest rates in holiday forecast

DC Velocity Staff |    Nov 4, 2022 | DC Velocity

The National Retail Federation (NRF) said this week it expects healthy holiday sales this year despite high inflation and rising interest rates. The latest figures show the economy is holding together better than may have been expected.” The group’s November economic review noted that gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 2.6% in the third quarter, and that consumer spending rose a higher than expected 0.6% in September. “Consumers’ willingness to spend has been clearly impacted by inflation but their ability to spend has been supported by job growth, rising wages and tapping into savings accumulated during the pandemic,” NRF said in a press release Friday. “Wages and salaries are up about 5% year over year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Credit balances are growing but remain near a historical low as a percentage of disposable income.”

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