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Supply chain jobs are out there on the manufacturing side

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
May 09, 2011

While the April jobs report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that U.S. payrolls grew by 244,000, which was viewed positively compared to expectations, the actual unemployment rate edged up from 8.8 percent to 9.0 percent.

In this case when looking at these numbers, it seems like we need to focus on the positive. Payrolls grew: good news.

Don’t be mistaken, though, the data does not always tell the full story—especially when it comes to job creation and job growth, when coupled with the number of people out there whom have simply given looking for work and are no longer eligible for unemployment assistance.

But when looking over the recent Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Report on Business in April (and previous months, too), I noticed that employment in the manufacturing sector is moving along at a strong clip, a clip which, much like the industrial economy, is far ahead of the general economy. That has been the case for some time now.

In its April report, the ISM Employment index came in at 62.7, down 0.3 percent from March. As LM has reported, any reading above 50 indicates growth, so that Employment figure remains impressive and has been for a long time.

When I interviewed Norbert J. Ore, chair of the ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, he told me that the strength of this index is to be expected, given the strong role manufacturing is playing in the slow and gradual economic recovery.

On top of that, though, Ore explained that there is “great demand” for supply chain-related jobs right now for things like purchasing and inventory control particularly. He added that the market seems “excellent” right now for those types and other supply chain-related jobs, too, as manufacturers try to get more efficiency out of existing operations.

Manufacturing jobs on the supply chain side, he said, are also known for beginning on a temporary basis, with the possibility of moving to a full-time hire down the road.

I know the job market is rough out there. Every day, I consider myself very grateful to be gainfully employed.  But I have been on the “other side” before and know how tough it can be. If you know someone with a supply chain background that perhaps overlooked manufacturing, now may be a good time for that person to give it another look. There could be a job waiting. You never know.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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