Skip to main content

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

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

1_LIMESTONE

Limestone Secures Financing for Expansion

The company said the $6 million in credit will be used to improve its Tennessee manufacturing facility and buy new equipment.

1_MCKENZIE

Mastry Marine Names Repower Center

St. Augustine, Fla.-based McKenzie Marine is the engine distributor’s latest designated Suzuki Repower Center.

1_VANDERBILT

Vanderbilt Ships First Pontoon

The company said the 700T Series was the first model shipped from its new Fort Wayne, Ind., factory and was delivered to The Marina in Angola, Ind.

1_CHIPS.ACT

NMMA Celebrates CHIPS Act

The legislation aims to return semiconductor manufacturing to the U.S. and allows businesses to deduct R&D costs in the same year they are incurred.

1_COX

Cox Marine Hires Sales and Support Staff

The diesel outboard builder this week brought aboard a new regional sales director, regional sales manager and an aftersales manager.

1_DEALEROUTLOOK

Boating Interests Lose Wind Farm Battle

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a proposed wind farm off the Cleveland, Oh., waterfront meets planning requirements.

1_INFLATION.JULY

July Inflation Data Lags June

Consumer Price Index results may indicate that inflation has peaked, and Producer Price Index data was below market expectations.

1_YAMAHA

Yamaha Posts Higher Sales, Profit

The company’s first half 2022 net sales increased to $1.93 billion, and segment income rose to $330 million.