Last updateTue, 09 Feb 2016 8pm


U.S. Job Openings Climb to Second-Highest Level on Record

The number of job openings increased to 5.6 million in December, the second highest number ever recorded, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires and separations were little changed at 5.4 million and 5.1 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was 2.1%, and the layoffs and discharges rate was 1.1%. The job openings rate was 3.8%.

The number of job openings increased in December for total private but was little changed for government. Job openings increased in construction (+69,000), nondurable goods manufacturing (+60,000), and durable goods manufacturing (+26,000). 

Machine Tool Orders Rose in December, Down in 2015

The U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report for December 2015 showed that order values grew 20.4% compared to the prior month, according to The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). For all of 2015, the year’s total orders were down 17.4% compared to 2014.

While the month-to-month gain seemingly indicates an upturn for the manufacturing technology market, it is important to note that the average November-to-December gain since 2010 has been 22.4% - meaning that the end of 2015 came in below average.

The overall market for manufacturing technology is likely to remain soft into the third quarter of 2016, but industry forecasts predict that orders for the overall year will finish ahead 3% compared to 2015, with much of the activity coming in the fourth quarter. September’s IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology is anticipated to create a boost in sales later this year. 

Labor Productivity Down More Than Expected in Fourth Quarter

U.S. labor productivity decreased at a 3.0-percent annual rate during the fourth quarter of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, as output increased 0.1% and hours worked increased 3.3%.

Manufacturing sector labor productivity decreased 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2015, as output increased 0.5% and hours worked increased 0.9%. Productivity decreased 1.0% in the durable goods manufacturing sector and increased 0.3% in the nondurable goods sector. 

U.S. Adds 151,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Down to 4.9%

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000 in January, and the unemployment rate dropped 0.1% to 4.9%, the lowest since Feb. 2008. Job gains occurred in several industries, led by retail trade, food services and drinking places, health care and manufacturing. Employment declined in private educational services, transportation and warehousing and mining.

Manufacturing added 29,000 jobs in January, following little employment change in 2015. Over the month, job gains occurred in food manufacturing (+11,000), fabricated metal products (+7,000), and furniture and related products (+3,000). 

U.S. Factory Orders Down 2.9% in December

New orders for manufactured goods in December, down four of the last five months, decreased $13.5 billion or 2.9% to $456.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. This followed a 0.7% November decrease. Overall, December orders were 6.6% below where they were one year ago.

Machinery orders fell 5.6%, including a 78.2% decrease in orders for mining, oil field and gas field equipment. 



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