ABC 2018: U.S. manufacturing is strong despite workforce headwinds

Author:
Publish date:
NAM economist Chad Moutray

NAM economist Chad Moutray

WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. manufacturing is more robust than it’s been in years, but workforce shortages could hamper future growth.

That’s according to Chad Moutray, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers, who spoke this morning at the American Boating Congress in Washington D.C.

“Manufacturing is growing 3 percent,” Moutray said. “We haven’t grown at 3 percent since 2014.”

Job openings, however, are at an all-time high, he said.

“We’ve added 1.2 million workers since the recession,” Moutray said. “When you hear people doubt whether we make anything in America, let them know. We do well and we’re struggling.”

Moutray has heard from manufacturers who haven’t been able to take on work because they don’t have staff, which has been echoed throughout the marine industry. A lack of construction workers is holding back housing starts, he said.

“There’s only so long you can work your workforce in overtime,” Moutray said. “We’ve seen up-skilling taking place, and there are new technologies. I’ve heard stories of people who are retirement age who are lured to stay. There are a lot of things that companies can do to stretch that out.”

“Frankly, the problem is there aren’t enough workers,” National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich told Trade Only Today. “It’s not that there aren’t enough workers that are trained, there just aren’t enough workers. The solution is legal immigration. We need immigration reform so we can get the flow of legal immigrants in this country. Our economy can’t grow without a growing population, and immigration is the path to achieve that.” 

Related

Yamaha Rightwaters To Launch Trash Interceptor

Developed in conjunction with the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, the device is designed to remove debris from waterways before it reaches the ocean.

Vessel Vanguard Releases Latest Management Platforms

The company upgraded the features, functionality and security of its suite of maintenance management programs.

Cox Marine Appoints COO

Gavin Wesson will oversee the continued development of the company’s diesel outboard.

Netherlands Eases Covid Measures as Metstrade Approaches

The moves by the Dutch government open up travel prior to the show, which is scheduled for Nov. 16-18 at RAI Amsterdam.

Coming to America

Swedish electric boat builder X Shore has established a North American sales office in Newport, R.I.

Registration Opens for ABYC Standards Week

Scheduled for Jan. 10-14, the conference includes sessions to review current and new standards, the group’s annual meeting and the Marine Law Symposium.

New Initiatives To Push Boating Safety

The Marine Industries Association of Southwest Florida and Discover Boating are promoting on-water safety, one in a digital format and and one analog.