The manufacturing sector grew for the ninth consecutive month in April, and at its fastest rate since June, 2004, according to a report released Monday, May 3rd.
The Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index rose to 60.4 in April, from a March reading of 59.6. Any score above 50 indicates growth in the manufacturing sector.
April’s number is slightly better than expected, driven by increases in productivity, new orders and manufacturing jobs.
New orders, productivity, imports, and commodity prices all rose at faster rates in April than the month before, indicating that demand for products is driving a recovery in manufacturing.
As for factory jobs, trends continue to look up. The employment component of the report grew for the fifth consecutive month, rising to 58.5 in April from 55.1 the month before.
The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) rose 0.3 percent in February from its January level, rising for the second consecutive month, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported in mid-April.
BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the Freight TSI index has risen 3.6 percent over the last nine months, starting in June, after declining 15.3 percent in the previous ten months, beginning in August 2008. The index has increased in seven of the last nine months. The index began 2010 with an increase of 0.7 percent in the first two months.
OSHA issued an enforcement memorandum directed at protecting Latino and other non-English speaking workers from workplace hazards. It directs compliance officers to ensure they check and verify that workers are receiving OSHA required training in a language they understand. “This directive conforms with Secretary Solis’ clear and urgent goal of reducing injuries and illnesses among Latino and other vulnerable workers,” said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary for OSHA. “These workers represent an integral and essential part of the key industries that keep our country running everyday.”