News April 2017 Volume 1
Workforce Specialists Analytics Newsletter
Two key measures of US manufacturing health are positively aligned, and helping maintain an overall level of optimism in the sector. Many firms will be more likely to invest in capital equipment and 'less fixed' costs like labor.
E-commerce warehouses take more manpower to operate. Over the last two years, e-commerce has emerged as the most active sector in industrial real estate growth (22.5% of total), and its lead is widening. E-commerce operations (requiring one employee per 700-1000 square feet) can drive local demand for labor at a rate two to three times that of traditional warehousing operations (one per 1500 - 3000 square feet) - JLL IP, INC
Markets don't like uncertainty. Neither do businesses. That is why our logistics clients closely watch the politics of trade. And for good reason: our three biggest trading partners are Canada, Mexico and China (see chart). Two of the three (Mexico and China) are in 'strategic transition' with regards to the US and trade.
The latest on automation and the workforce from a high profile report from McKinsey & Company: Automation and humans working together rather than one replacing the other.
  • Individual activities - rather than entire occupations - would be where automation is deployed.
  • Very few occupations - less than 5% - are candidates for full automation.
  • But, almost every occupation has partial automation potential. Physical, highly structured and predictable activity - like that found in manufacturing and logistics - would be ideal.
  • And finally, the report states we estimate it will take years for automation's effect on current work activities to play out fully.
If you are operating in a state that raised its minimum wage last year, adn you are experiencing upward pressure on hourly wages, especially for the lower end positions, there is a reason: States like yours are experiencing wage growth more than double states that did not raise minimum wage.
Automation usually requires a more highly skilled workforce. Still, there are many manufacturing jobs that are on the lower end of the pay scale. Remedy Intelligent Staffing recently released an article to help its clients and prospects successfully manage and engage this part of their workforce.
  Tired of all the back and forth about automation, immigration, trade, skills gaps, and so on? There is always this approach to manufacturing.
Keith Wisner, Vice President - Workforce & Supply Chain Analytics.