CIRAS DIGEST: Tuesday, June 7, 2016

  • The most interesting story of the day is an article at the Washington Post’s Wonkblog attempting to prove that housing is “the biggest business story of the next five years.” The premise basically is this: Given future millennial housing needs, future federal infrastructure requirement, etc., the United States is roughly 500,000 construction workers short of what it’s going to need. Over time, that’s going to lead to a bidding war for production workers across the economy, bleeding workers from the Midwest and Northeast to the faster-growing Southeast and West Coast, “where the construction jobs will be. This will put more and more of a strain on the Midwest/Northeast goods-producing firms.” In short, expect both workers and investment capital to be hard to find because it’s all going to get stolen by construction.
  • The Medill/Northwestern (as in university journalism school) web site says an Illinois state budget crises is clouding manufacturing education at community colleges. According to the article, this cloud involves the fact that “manufacturing departments at some community colleges shortchanged by the budget-less state of Illinois have been tightening their belts by scaling back equipment procurement for education purposes or offering fewer openings to educate future highly-skilled workers sought after by employers facing a talent shortfall.”
  • Meanwhile, ICYMI, a business column in the Waterloo Courier cites the release last week of the Iowa Business Council’s “almost dizzyingly optimistic six-month outlook for the state’s economy.” According to the column, “the leaders of Iowa’s largest employers are decidedly optimistic … even if the farm sector won’t go along.”
  • Deep Thinking Alert: Industry Week has a piece looking at the three major “megatrends” of manufacturing – digitization, customization and miniaturization.

Thanks for reading.

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