After almost a week away from my family during FABTECH, Nov. 14-17, I returned to my family tired but upbeat, because the overall mood at the tradeshow was optimistic. Busy is good for most of the attendees and exhibitors.
In describing some of the stories I had been hearing about busy job shops and the need for new capital equipment investments, I encountered a question that stumped me a bit: "Why is metal fabricating doing well when the rest of the economy is not?" my wife asked.
It's a great question because it brings up two interesting points. First, most people don't realize that manufacturing is leading the way in this less-than-robust economic rebound following the Great Recession. Some are learning that a job in manufacturing may not be such a bad career path, especially as manufacturers continue to ask for more skilled workers to fill open positions. Second, manufacturing generally isn't in this position. The old adage goes that manufacturing is typically the first industry hit by a recession and the last one to emerge from it. Well, that's not how it's working this time. (more...)