Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in August for the 15th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 63rd consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.
… The August PMI® registered 59 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from July’s reading of 57.1 percent, indicating continued expansion in manufacturing. This month’s PMI® reflects the highest reading since March 2011 when the index registered 59.1 percent. The New Orders Index registered 66.7 percent, an increase of 3.3 percentage points from the 63.4 percent reading in July, indicating growth in new orders for the 15th consecutive month. The Production Index registered 64.5 percent, 3.3 percentage points above the July reading of 61.2 percent. The Employment Index grew for the 14th consecutive month, registering 58.1 percent, a slight decrease of 0.1 percentage point below the July reading of 58.2 percent. Inventories of raw materials registered 52 percent, an increase of 3.5 percentage points from the July reading of 48.5 percent, indicating growth in inventories following one month of contraction. The August PMI® is led by the highest recorded New Orders Index since April 2004 when it registered 67.1 percent. At the same time, comments from the panel reflect a positive outlook mixed with caution over global geopolitical unrest.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 17 are reporting growth in August …
Backlog of Orders also went into expansion, up from 49.5 percent in July to 52.5 percent in August.
ISM’s Manufacturing Survey has shown expansion in almost every month since the fall of 2009, and this is what we have to show for it in jobs:
Manufacturing jobs are up by only 707,000 since their February 2010 trough:
- That sector has therefore regained only 26 percent of the 2.691 million jobs lost from August 2004 to that trough.
- If you want to isolate it to the officially defined recession, manufactuing has only regained 31 percent of the 2.293 million jobs lost from December 2007 to February 2010.
- If you want to isolate it to the recession as normal people define it, manufactuing has only regained 34 percent of the 2.051 million jobs lost since June 2008.
Yet ISM shows not only expansion, but strong expansion. Really?
All I can say is that the recession’s survivors must be really happy, but not happy enough to be adding lots of people — or they’re “hiring” people through “temporary” help agencies who don’t show up as payroll employees in the manufacturing sector.
UPDATE: But Obamacare’s 30-hour full-time employee definition is irrelevant. Sure it is.