Member Briefing October 5, 2022

Posted By: Harold King Daily Briefing,

JOLTS - Job Openings Plunged by More Than 1.1 Million in August to 10.05 Million

The level of job openings plunged by more than a million in August, providing a potential early sign that the massive U.S. labor gap is beginning to close. Available positions totaled 10.05 million for the month, a 10% drop from the 11.17 million reported in July, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics release Tuesday. That was also well below the 11.1 million FactSet estimate.

  • The number of hires rose slightly, while total separations jumped by 182,000.
  • Quits, or those who left their jobs voluntarily, rose by 100,000 for the month to 4.16 million.
  • The ratio of job openings for every available worker contracted to 1.67 to 1 in August from nearly 2 to 1 in July.
  • Openings in manufacturing fell from 910,000 in July to 795,000 in August.
  • The manufacturing quit rate jumped from 2.4% (312,000 people) in July to 2.8% (357,000 people) in August

Read more at CNBC

War in Ukraine Headlines

MFG Day 2022 Is Almost Here!  

This Friday, Oct. 7, manufacturers across the country will open their doors in an epic celebration of manufacturing in America. Students, parents, teachers, local leaders and many others will be welcomed into factories, technical schools and similar venues to see what modern manufacturing is really about. Led by The Manufacturing Institute—the NAM’s workforce development and education partner—MFG Day kicks off a monthlong series of events that provide an inside view of the industry and the exciting careers it offers.

  • You can participate by tuning in Friday from 6:00 am – 9:00 am for a live broadcast of Hudson Valley Focus Live from Fair Rite Products in Wallkill. 1450 or 1370 on you AM dial, 98.5 FM or on the iHeart Media app.
  • You can also join the Orange County Community STEM & Mfg Day at Valley Central High School October 29th. Local professionals, schools, and companies in the STEAM fields including Manufacturing, Trades, Engineering, Architecture, Design, and related fields are encouraged to participate. Technology/STEAM programs from several Local high schools and middle schools will be participating as well providing the opportunity to connect with local STEM educators.  Participants will have a 'booth' where they can show off visuals, have displays, and give out information. Students and community members will be moving about the event and speaking to the participating companies about what they do, potential career opportunities and what training or education is required to access those careers.

Learn more and Register for the Orange County Mfg Event

Micron to Spend Up to $100 Billion on Chip Factory in New York State

Micron Technology Inc. has agreed to invest as much as $100 billion to build a semiconductor-manufacturing campus in upstate New York, adding to a wave of chip-making plans in the U.S. as Washington tries to boost domestic manufacturing of those critical components. The company said Tuesday that the facility in Clay would require about $20 billion in spending by the end of this decade and be built out further thereafter. Construction in Clay, roughly 15 miles north of Syracuse, N.Y., is due to start in 2024. The company said last month that it would invest $15 billion in a new factory in Idaho, with construction beginning next year.

Micron said a year ago that it would spend as much as $150 billion on additional production capacity, though didn’t say where the new money would go. The company had held off on committing to the spending until the U.S. government had approved billions of dollars in subsidies for domestic chip making. “We will need support from the federal government as well as appropriate support from state governments to bridge the 35% to 45% cost gap that exists in overseas production,” Micron Chief Executive Sanjay Mehrotra said earlier this year.

Read more at the WSJ

US COVID – The Virus Has Changed—So Has the Population’s Immune Status

In 2020 and in the first half of 2021, COVID-19 vaccines aimed at building a protective immune response in populations that had never been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and that presented virtually no meaningful pre-existing immunity. The circulating virus strains closely matched the vaccine sequence and the immune response induced by the vaccines were protective with high efficacy and effectiveness against symptomatic and severe infection. The emergence of new variants has led to the initially observed high efficacy and effectiveness against symptomatic COVID degrading and becoming more variable.

Over time, a more complex and heterogeneous immune status has emerged in the population, shaped by infection from variant virus strains and the exposure to vaccines. In this new complex virological and serological reality, the booster vaccines that should protect against a potential surge of SARS-CoV-2 in the autumn and winter of 2022 have the challenging task to reshape the existing immune response, boost its intensity and increase its breadth to offer protection against newly emerging VOCs, including Omicron and its subvariants. However, what brought robust vaccine efficacy against symptomatic and severe COVID-19 in the early stages of the pandemic may not translate into the needed booster response going forward.

Read more at Nature


The Governor updated COVID data through September 23rd.


  • Daily: 19
  • Total Reported to CDC: 74,258


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 2,306
  • Patients Currently in ICU Statewide: 237

7 Day Average Positivity Rate - Cases per 100K population

  • Statewide 5.78%    -   21.51 positive cases per 100,00 population
  • Mid-Hudson: 6.77%   -   22.09 positive cases per 100,00 population

Useful Websites:

Hochul, Zeldin Discuss Mental Health After EMS Lieutenant Killed

Both Gov. Kathy Hochul and her Republican challenger, Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin, said more needs to be done to increase public safety but differ on what to do. Hochul was on Long Island Monday for the opening of the new LIRR third track, but it was the seemingly random fatal stabbing last week of EMS Lieutenant Alison Russo that recieved her attention. It was a crime that shocked the city, but also renewed calls to fix the mental health system. “During the pandemic, a lot of people who needed mental health services didn’t receive them,” Hochul said. “They were disconnected from their support systems. They weren’t getting medication. So, that is a factor.”

Meanwhile, Zeldin was in Harlem, unveiling a plan for education, among other initiatives. While he said he agrees that a lack of mental health treatment is a problem, he argued the stabbing is also part of a troubling pattern. “It was just the next day, while we were all mourning the death of that EMT, that we read about the steam fitter that was fatally stabbed to death on the L train,” Zeldin said. “People are walking these streets now with their head on a swivel.”

Read more at Spectrum News

Women Have Swung Toward Democrats Since the Dobbs Decision

The conventional wisdom is that women are more motivated to vote this election season thanks to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling. Conventional wisdom isn’t necessarily based on evidence, though. And while abortion is an increasingly important issue for women, there are signs it is galvanizing some men too. If the Dobbs decision were motivating more women than men, then there’s a metric where that change would probably show up: the gender gap.

The 2018 midterm elections, according to the exit polls, 59 percent of women — and only 47 percent of men — voted Democratic, which means the gender gap was historically wide, at nearly 12 percentage points. It will be hard to exceed that gap, even with abortion at the forefront of many voters’ minds. Our analysis of polls conducted between June and September suggests that, yes, women are leaning heavily toward Democrats, while men are more likely to support Republicans. But in our polling average, the gender gap isn’t quite as big as it was at this point in 2018.

Read more at 538

How to Perfectly Time Your New Omicron-Specific Covid Booster

If you’re not one of the 7.6 million Americans who have already gotten the updated omicron-specific Covid booster, you might still be debating one key question: When should I get it? Experts say most people should get the new booster as soon as possible — particularly ahead of the late fall and winter months.

Vaccine protection slowly ramps up over two or three weeks post-injection: If you get your shot on October 1, you can probably expect its defenses to be fully kicked in by mid- or late-month. That protection typically lasts about three or four months before beginning to wane. That’s useful knowledge — but even so, there’s no perfect singular date for booking your booster appointment. It depends on when you last got a Covid vaccine, how recently you were infected with Covid and whether you’re at high risk of severe illness from the virus. Here’s what you need to know:

Read more at CNBC

Why a Minimum Wage Increase Upstate Could Lead to Further Hikes

Gas, housing and groceries: The staples of living and working are increasing for workers as inflation continues apace in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers, too, are seeing higher prices affect their bottom lines: Energy and fuel costs are skyrocketing as are the cost of materials and labor. It's against that backdrop that New York labor officials are proposing a $1 increase in the minimum wage for counties north of Westchester. If given final approval, the wage would reach $14.20 by the end of the year. But this wage increase could spur further action in the Legislature to approve the first minimum wage increase since 2016 in New York. Progressive advocates have argued the wage across the board is not keeping pace in New York.

Ashley Ranslow of the National Federation of Independent Business points to the same inflation also hurting businesses who have been battered by the pandemic. "There's rampant inflation, there's supply chain challenges, there are already rising labor costs, energy costs are going up," she said. "Fuel costs are still stubbornly high. This is one more cost on top of all of these things." And smaller employers are already struggling from the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and will have trouble absorbing even more costs.

Read more at Spectrum News

Robots are Making French Fries Faster, Better than Humans

Miso Robotics Inc in Pasadena has started rolling out its Flippy 2 robot, which automates the process of deep frying potatoes, onions and other foods. A big robotic arm like those in auto plants - directed by cameras and artificial intelligence - takes frozen French fries and other foods out of a freezer, dips them into hot oil, then deposits the ready-to-serve product into a tray.

Flippy 2 can cook several meals with different recipes simultaneously, reducing the need for catering staff and, says Miso, speed up order delivery at drive-through windows. “When an order comes in through the restaurant system, it automatically spits out the instructions to Flippy," Miso Chief Executive Mike Bell said in an interview. " ... It does it faster or more accurately, more reliably and happier than most humans do it,” Bell added.

Read more at Reuters

A Look at the U.S. Economic Situation and Outlook for 2023

Here’s the puzzle. Yes, real GDP growth has been in the negative column for much of this year, but employment growth, national income, and retail sales have been growing at a healthy pace. With work opportunities flourishing and lots of cash in their bank accounts, consumers are spending, but not as much on goods as on services. Manufacturing output has slowed.

In a few words, we seem to have an economy heading south, negative GDP growth, and north, higher incomes, at the same time. How can that be? And can it continue? I think we must recognize that government stimulus spending and perhaps the early effects of pending student debt forgiveness are pushing up income and consumer spending. Yes, it is COVID related, and yes, it will end. Meanwhile, the production and construction economies are still heading south, and that will continue so long as interest rates are rising. As the Fed reminds us, the rising interest rate march may have just begun.


Read more at Ground Break

More Women in Manufacturing Jobs in Every Age Group

Although men still hold the majority (67.9%) of U.S. manufacturing jobs, the Census Bureau’s Job-to-Job (J2J) Flows Explorer shows that from 2010 until the pandemic struck in 2020, the share of women in manufacturing jobs rose in every working-age category up until 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic started. In 2021, the data show the numbers going back up to pre-Covid levels. Certain age groups show an even higher spike than before the pandemic. For example, 8.6% of the people who went into manufacturing jobs were women ages 55 to 64 before the pandemic but increased to 9.1% in 2021.

Some facts about women in manufacturing:

  • They made up about 47% of the American workforce but only 30% worked in manufacturing.
  • One out of four management positions were held by women.
  • They earned on average 16% more than the national median annual income for women who are employed.

Read more at the Census Bureau

Deadline Extended Nominations Now Due Oct 14 for 2023 Women MAKE Awards

Recognizing your female colleagues and peers is a great way to extend your Manufacturing Day celebrations. These are the women that will inspire the next generation of female talent.

There are two categories you may consider:

  • Honoree: Nominee is currently employed in manufacturing at any level of the company, from the factory floor to the C-suite.
    • 100 Honorees are selected each year.
  • Emerging Leader: Rising female talent currently employed in the manufacturing industry that have made significant contributions and excelled early in their career. An Emerging Leader nominee must be between 18 and 30 years of age as of December 31, 2022.
    • 30 Emerging Leaders are selected each year.

See the Nominations Guide

EU Antitrust Watchdog in Talks With Germany Over 200 bln Energy Support Plan

The European Commission, which oversees EU antitrust policy, said on Monday it was talking with Germany about its energy support package, which critics say will distort competition in the bloc by giving an advantage to German business. The 200 billion euro ($195.24 billion) "defensive shield", including a gas price brake and a cut in sales tax for fuel, is designed to protect companies and households from the impact of soaring energy prices.

Euro zone finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday were expected to pledge that national financial shields against soaring energy costs will be temporary and targeted. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a speech on Saturday that the European Union needed to find a common response to the crisis of energy costs. "Without a common European solution, we seriously risk fragmentation," she said.

Read more at Reuters