Manufacturing Orders Through May at Near-Historic LevelsJuly 13, 2021
U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders for May 2021, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, increased 11 percent over April orders and were nearly double that of May 2020.
“Given the state of the economy last year, orders were expected to be up, but so far, 2021 is shaping up to be a historic year,” says AMT president Douglas K. Woods. “In only three other years since 1998 have orders surpassed $2 billion by May. Manufacturers across the industry have expressed broadly positive sentiment, so we would expect the remainder of the year not only to return to the pre-pandemic trend but also to exceed previous forecasts.
However, the report notes, manufacturing employment is still about half a million jobs below pre-pandemic levels, and the current number of open positions in the manufacturing industry is double the February 2020 level.
“Growth with fewer employees occurs regularly during manufacturing recessions,” says Woods, “according to work done by the Brookings Institution. Studies have found that manufacturers in a position to do so will leverage a slowdown to invest in greater automation and more sophisticated production equipment. The result is a more productive in-place workforce, but continued growth is dependent on a larger, more skilled manufacturing labor pool.”
See also: Association for Manufacturing Technology