Last updateThu, 19 Sep 2019 4pm

Machine Tool Orders Post Modest Gains in May

U.S. manufacturing technology orders rose to $378.4 million in May, an increase of 7.3% over the previous month. Orders for metal cutting technologies grew 4.5% while forming and fabricating technologies increased 64.8% over the previous month and 117% over May 2018.

Despite the modest uptick in total orders from April, orders are down nearly 22% from May 2018, when orders totaled $484.2 million. The year-to-date total for 2019 increased to $1,867 million, a 13.5% decline from the 2018 total through May.

Global Manufacturing PMI Lowest Since October 2012

The performance of the global manufacturing sector continued to weaken at the end of the second quarter. Production fell for the first time since October 2012, as new order contracted at the fastest pace for almost seven years.

Business optimism slumped to a series-record low. At 49.4 in June, the J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI –a composite index produced by J.P. Morgan and IHS Markit in association with ISM and IFPSM –fell to its lowest level for over six-and-a-half years and posted back-to-back sub-50.0 readings for the first time since the second half of 2012.

South Carolina Manufacturing Center Features Mechatronics Program

Employers across South Carolina have expressed difficulties in accessing a steady pipeline of highly trained workers, and Georgetown, SC employers project over 240 jobs will be needed in welding, mechatronics, machine tool and robotics over the next two to five years.

Horry-Georgetown Technical College’s new Georgetown Center for Advanced Manufacturing is projected to support more than $14 million in new capital investment in the community over the next five years.

The new 30,000 square foot facility will be home to advanced welding technologies, machine tool technology and the mechatronics technology programs. Students in the mechatronics program will learn the fundamental skills in electronics, mechanical and fluid power, and automated controls commonly found in the manufacturing industry. Graduates of this associate degree program will be able to perform a systemic analysis and troubleshoot equipment and machinery utilized in the industry.

U.S. Added 224,000 Jobs in June

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 224,000 in June and the unemployment rate went up 0.1% to 3.7%, the U.S. Department of Labor reported. Notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

Manufacturing employment edged up in June by 17,000, following 4 months of little change. So far this year, job growth in the industry has averaged 8,000 per month, compared with an average of 22,000 per month in 2018.

Report: Robots Taking 20 Million Manufacturing Jobs by 2030

The rise of the robots will boost productivity, economic growth, and it will lead to the creation of new jobs in yet-to-exist industries. But existing business models in many sectors will be seriously disrupted and millions of existing jobs will be lost. Oxford Economics estimates up to 20 million manufacturing jobs are set to be lost to robots by 2030.

The effects of these job losses will vary greatly across countries and regions, with a disproportionate toll on lower-skilled workers and on poorer local economies. In lower-skilled regions, robots lead to almost twice as many manufacturing job losses. In many places, the impact will aggravate social and economic stress in times when political polarization is a worrying trend.  

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