The U.S. has endured a massive housing crisis, and intense manufacturing competition from a seemingly endless supply of low cost labour abroad.
Yet somehow, for Legacy Furniture Group of North Caroline, business is booming.
Sales are growing 10% and the company has its employees working overtime to meet demand. They’re also hiring.
Associated Press: In November alone, the company that specialises in furniture for the medical industry added a half-dozen employees to its staff of 35. These days, everyone is clocking overtime and the 40,000-square-foot factory is starting to feel awfully cramped.
“We’re starting to stack people instead of stacking furniture,” jokes co-founder Todd Norris as he navigates rows of hand-sanded chair frames.
Legacy isn’t alone, apparently U.S. manufacturing employment has been showing some small signs of improvement, even ahead of improvement in services employment:
Legacy’s recent success highlights a trend: Counties with the heaviest reliance on manufacturing income are posting some of the biggest employment gains of the nation’s early economic recovery. This is a big change from just half a year ago, when some economists worried that widespread layoffs by U.S. manufacturers might be part of an irreversible trend in that sector.
“Manufacturing jobs are here to stay, and they’re coming back,” said Derald Bontrager, president and chief operating officer of Middlebury, Ind.-based RV maker Jayco Inc., which recalled or hired 200 laid-off workers over the summer to help ramp up production after an unexpected sales boom overwhelmed all-time-low inventories and left the producer unable to meet demand. They’re still trying to catch up.
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