Do you ever have one of those days, weeks, or years in which nothing seems to go right? (If you answered "no" to this question, let us all in on your secret.)
I'm having one of those weeks, and I'm attributing all the madness and irritations to the full moon. That's right; I’m blaming something totally beyond my control and out of striking range. This morning, I actually wondered if maybe this time I might just be down for the count, at least mentally, but then one by one, problems began to go away. It's as if the cosmos suddenly decided to reverse the ravages of the full moon with a generous shower of pixie dust.
There is no pixie dust for manufacturing job creation.
As reported in the Bloomberg Business Week article "Most U.S. Factory Jobs Lost in Slump May Stay Empty in Recovery," "U.S. manufacturers will fill fewer than 30 percent of two million lost factory jobs as the economy recovers over the next six years, according to an estimate from an industry trade group.
“Most of the hiring will come in 2011 and 2012, David Huether, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, said yesterday after NAM President John Engler spoke on a job-growth panel at the Milken Conference in Los Angeles.
"I wish there were a silver bullet where we just walk in and just sprinkle this pixie dust," Ron Bloom, a conference panelist and senior White House adviser for manufacturing policy, said in an interview. "But this is slow, hard work."
According to the article, Huether’s estimate for a return of 540,000 manufacturing jobs by 2015 fell from his previous prediction of 800,000. The reason for the reduction? Huether projects that consumers will use more imports than U.S.-made goods. Not good news for domestic producers.
As noted in the article, forecaster IHS Global Insight has projected that more than one million of the lost manufacturing jobs may be refilled, and U.S. factories have helped lead a labor-market revival this year. A 45,000-worker gain in factory payrolls through March marked the biggest such increase since 2004. But, the challenge will be sustaining that advance, said Nigel Gault, Global Insight’s chief U.S. economist, who forecasts a return to the long-term pattern of decline in manufacturing employment.
Bloom declined to give a forecast for U.S. or factory job creation, but what he did say indicated that those who are laid off and waiting for manufacturing jobs to return and those just starting out in their careers might be wise to look elsewhere for employment: "We’re still going to make a lot of cars in America. We’re going to make a lot of steel, a lot of tires, a lot of paper. We’re going to do it in a more efficient and a more productive way."
More efficient, more productive way typically equals fewer people doing more, often for less compensation.
The full moon didn't create my problems and pixie dust didn't solve them. Problems are a part of life, and any pixie dust to be found usually is created by constructive action to solve these problems. U.S. manufacturing needs a little less talk about silver bullets and pixie dust and more constructive action.
But I'll take that silver bullet, just in case. There is a full moon, you know.
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