Employment Population Ratio- Good News

April 18, 2017

The BLS’s Employment Population Ratio was 60.1 in March 2017, its first time back over 60% since February 2009.

February 2009!

This indicator actually shows what it purports to, unlike the U-3 (headline) Unemployment rate.

Not since February 2009…

The U-3 Unemployment rate may actually fall if workers give up looking for work, as the labor market falters. As the labor market is recovering,  the U-3 unemployment rate can rise because more people are re- entering the labor force as they start to look for work again.

The Employment-Population ratio, because it is unaffected by voluntary changes in labor force participation, is a useful indicator of current labor market conditions. Lows in the employment-to- population ratio correspond with economic downturns. The employment-to-population ratio holds clear and discernible implications for the labor market, both among and between segments of the population.

The Employment-Population ratio is a useful indicator. And currently, a positive one.

BLS Employment Population Ratio


Manufacturing Improving- February PMI Rises to 53.2 From January’s 51.3

March 3, 2014

Manufacturing Sector continues to grow and strengthen in February according to ISM PMI index, confirming PMPA’s own January Business Trends Outlook.

“Optimism in terms of demand  and growth in the near term”Bradley Holcomb, Institute for Supply Management

“The February PMI® registered 53.2 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from January’s reading of 51.3 percent indicating expansion in manufacturing for the ninth consecutive month. The New Orders Index registered 54.5 percent, an increase of 3.3 percentage points from January’s reading of 51.2 percent. The Production Index registered 48.2 percent, a decrease of 6.6 percentage points compared to January’s reading of 54.8 percent. Inventories of raw materials increased by 8.5 percentage points to 52.5 percent. As in January, several comments from the panel mention adverse weather conditions as a factor impacting their businesses in February. Other comments reflect optimism in terms of demand and growth in the near term.”

Link here

Markets the precision machining industry serves did well in February:  Machinery; Plastics & Rubber Products;  Transportation Equipment;  Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Fabricated Metal Products; Furniture & Related Products; Primary Metals according to the ISM release.

The PMPA’s January Business Trends Report was similarly upbeat with strongly positive indicators for Sales, Lead Times, Profitability and Employment.

Over 59% of our reporting precision machining shops were scheduling overtime in January.

The ISM PMI Report for February 2013  shows continued growth and strength in the manufacturing sector.


The ISM  report confirms  this statement with its report on commodity prices

“No commodities are reported down in price.”

That pretty much validates the index…

January 2014 – Great For Precision Machining Businesses

February 26, 2014

The precision machining industry is generating strong sales and positive prospects going into calendar year 2014.

Very strong sales and busy shops characterize the precision machining industry in January 2014

Very strong sales and busy shops characterize the precision machining industry in January 2014

PMPA’s January Business Trends Report’s Index of Sales bounced back up to 126 from December 2013’s high for any December of 100.

January 2014 ‘s 126 was just 2 points shy of January 2013’s 128.

Precision Machining Businesses had a great month in January.

Outlook  for sales remains positive with 87% of respondents expecting the level of sales to remain the same or increase over the next three months.

Profitability is expected to remain the same or improve by 93% of respondents.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of shops scheduled overtime- 36%  scheduled 45 hours or more.

Get the full report here.

Note: This report was our inaugural issue of the Business Trends Reporting using our newly updated secure, online reporting system. Effective with this move to the new system, we have established the year 2010 as our index base.

Precision Machining Sales Up for Year, Down for September

October 17, 2013

The PMPA Business Trends Report for September 2013 shows our sales /shipments index to be down  to 115 for September, up 12 points over September 2012, but down 9 points from last month,Sept Bus Trends Graph

Outlook for sales and employment remain high, and sentiments for profitability remain positive.

81 % of respondents felt sales would remain the same or increase over the next three months.

This positivity in the face of an actual decline in shipments for most respondents is a sign that the variability seen is expected, rather than a harbinger of a more drastic slowdown industry wide.

You can download a copy of the Sept. Business Trends Report Here

By the way, over one third of respondents were scheduling 45 hours or more of overtime…

Precision Industry Sales In July Beat Seasonal Doldrums

August 23, 2012

Up five points over last July.

PMPA’s Business Trends Index for July 2012 is 111, down substantially from last month’s adjusted value of 119, but still well above last year’s July value of 106 and July 2010’s value of 99. While our index does reflect a drop in shipments that we expect seasonally in July, the 111 value is highest value for July in this decade. July 2012’s reading is up 4 % over last July, and year to date we are up 5% over same period last year. It is easy to see the absolute value of the month to month drop and be concerned, but our index shows that our industry continues to improve over past years’ performance when considering where we are seasonally.

Industrial Production (IP) increased 0.6 percent in July after having risen 0.1 percent in both May and June. In July, the U.S. summary “Purchasing Managers’ Index” (PMI) from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) inched up 0.1 points for July, to a level of 49.8.

In plain English, “Industrial activity at the nation’s factories remained stalled in July” according to Dr. Ken Mayland, PMPA’s retained economist.

Our index indicates that our shops continue to adjust to the broader economy as we sustain higher performance than prior years.

Over half  of shops responding were scheduling overtime in July.

Full report here.