US Manufacturing Sector Continues To Expand in October, but Hiring Difficulties Persist

The US manufacturing sector continued to expand in October, although hiring difficulties show no signs of easing, according to the Institute of Supply Management’s October 2021 “Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.” The report is based on a survey of manufacturing supply executives.

“Meeting demand remains a challenge, due to hiring difficulties and a clear cycle of labor turnover: As workers opt for more attractive job opportunities, panelists’ companies and their suppliers struggle to maintain employment levels,” said Timothy Fiore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

An overwhelming majority of panelists indicate their companies are hiring or attempting to hire; 90% of employment index comments were about seeking additional staffing. Twenty-eight percent of those respondents expressed difficulty in filling positions.

Overall, the US manufacturing sector continued to grow in October. The Manufacturing PMI announced in today’s report was at a reading of 60.8% in October — down from a reading of 61.1% in October but still indicative of growth. Readings over 50% indicate manufacturing economy is expanding, and readings above 43.1% over time indicates an expansion of the overall economy.

The Manufacturing PMI is a composite index based on the diffusion indexes of five of the indexes with equal weights: new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries and inventories. Of those, only inventories is not seasonally adjusted.

The employment diffusion index rose to a reading of 52.0% in October from 50.2% in September.

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