CIRAS Digest: Friday, December 4, 2015

  • ICYMI, Gov. Branstad announced last week that he’s met the 2010 campaign promise to create 200,000 jobs within five years. However, The Des Moines Register has taken issue with his math. They say it’s about half that.
  • Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey has again reminded us that Iowa’s 1,500 acres of Christmas tree farms are worth “more than $1 million annually” to the Iowa economy. Just so you know.
  • Meanwhile, Reuters is talking about the fact that “global manufacturing growth remained tepid” in November. And The New York Times notes that it was the first manufacturing contraction in three years, although that likely won’t deter an expected Fed interest rate hike next week.
  • On that topic, CNBC has posted a video of professional yeller Jim Cramer saying not to worry about the impact of any rate hike. It won’t be a problem, Cramer says, because the U.S. already has outsourced most of its manufacturing jobs. The slightly misleading headline insists that “Mass layoffs in manufacturing don’t matter.”
  • Fortune similarly has a piece explaining “how worried we should be about the manufacturing recession.” The answer appears to be not terribly, according to the article, because a much larger chunk of the U.S. economy is happening in the services sector.
  • Meanwhile, Business Insider reports on an Institute of Supply Management index showing that “the U.S. services sector isn’t doing as well as we thought.”
  • More locally, manufacturers in Iowa and Nebraska have lost a combined 3,800 jobs over the past 12 months (2,500 in Nebraska), and the Omaha World-Herald has a Creighton economist who doesn’t see any sign of improvement.
  • And if that’s not enough to sour your stomach, The Register is predicting a prolonged budget fight in the 2016 Iowa Legislature.
  • Speaking of the Iowa Legislature, they get at least part of the credit (via a 2007 tax exemption) in an Atlantic story that wonders “Why are there so many data centers in Iowa?”
  • Looking ahead, the most important “big deals” on the horizon for manufacturers are predictive data and advanced materials. This is according to a new report from Deloitte and the nonprofit Council on Competitiveness.
  • And finally, surveys are in, and response to the 2015 Manufacturing Day events was “overwhelmingly positive,” according to Manufacturing.net. [Iowa’s rousing participation already has been well documented. CIRAS, Elevate Iowa and ISU Extension and Outreach helped coordinate events in all 99 counties, and our county-by-county approach likely will be a national model next year.]

That’s it. Thanks for reading.

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