Manufacturing jobs grow at fastest rate for two and a half years

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
2 December 2013

Job creation in the manufacturing sector rose at its fastest rate for two and a half years in November.

The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index also showed production and new order rates of growth were at, or near, 19-year highs. The seasonally adjusted index hit 58.4 in November, compared with 56.5 in October, against a baseline of 50 that indicates no change.

The domestic market “remained the prime pillar of new order growth”; though steep growth in exports was also recorded, with improved inflows of new work from Asia, the USA, Germany, France, Ireland, Belgium and the Middle East.

Employment rose for the seventh consecutive month across all sub sectors and company sizes, with the fastest job creation since May 2011.

Companies recorded further stock depletion, with the rate of reduction in post-production inventories among the sharpest of the past three and a half years.

Average input costs rose for the fifth month running due to higher raw material and utilities prices, and average output prices rose at their fastest rate for two years.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said: “The manufacturing expansion remains broad-based by sector, demand from the domestic market continues to surge higher and new export orders are rising at a clip close to October’s 32-month high. The intermediate goods sector was the stand-out performer overall as many firms refilled depleted warehouse shelves, but marked growth at consumer and investment goods producers also suggests that household and capital spending will both be positive spurs for broader economic growth.”

CIPS group CEO David Noble said: “The industry’s ongoing recovery has given rise to a substantial expansion in purchasing activity but similar to previous months, the sector is still experiencing some shortages, particularly in raw materials, implying that supply chains still have some catching up to do with the market.”

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