Business better, employment up in 2010, manufacturers report in poll

November 18, 2010

According to a poll of factory executives, supervisors, and engineers conducted by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Int’l (FMA) at the FABTECH® trade show in Atlanta in early November, more than seven in 10 (72 percent) reported that business is either much better (31 percent) or somewhat better (41 percent) in 2010 when compared to 2009. Another 18 percent said business was neither better nor worse; only 10 percent said it was worse.

Nearly half of the respondents (47 percent) said their companies added permanent full-time staff in 2010 and another 30 percent hired temporary workers to handle the increased manufacturing work. Some 17 percent said although no new employees were hired as of yet, the current staff is working additional hours. Eleven percent reported no staff cutbacks and a mere 3 percent said their firms have laid people off in 2010.

"Economic reports have indicated the manufacturing sector is adding to capacity despite the still weak consumer demand in the United States," said Dr. Chris Kuehl, economic analyst for FMA. "The fact is that consumers in other parts of the world have been active, and the U.S. manufacturing community has been getting more skilled at reaching those markets.

"The extremely positive findings in this poll dramatically reinforce the good news that the industrial sector continues to grow today," added Kuehl. "This certainly bodes well as we look ahead to 2011."

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