Despite workforce availability concerns, more than three-fourths of companies think profits will increase
U.S. manufacturers are more optimistic about the regional and national economy than the global economy, according to a report on the results from a survey involving executives in the manufacturing industry.
More than 60 percent of U.S. manufacturing companies expect their sector to expand in 2019, and 81 percent believe their revenue will increase in 2019. Optimism is highest among manufacturers in the energy sector.
Labor, though, remains a significant challenge. More than half of manufacturers plan to increase hiring; yet more than half also said the current labor shortage in manufacturing poses the greatest risk or barrier to growth. In addition to labor costs, U.S. manufacturing companies also expressed concern about an increase in raw material costs.
Manufacturers’ top three priorities for 2019 include addressing the labor shortage in manufacturing, growing sales and improving profitability.
Technology also plays into their plan for the year; 76 percent say they will investigate or prioritize cybersecurity. Forty-three percent of U.S. manufacturers intend to place an emphasis on big data/enterprise resource planning/IoT use.