US economy grew by 1.7% in Q4, lifting a strong year

Even so, the average business owner “sees a very strong environment right now,” said Oren Klachkin, lead US economist for regional and industrial studies at Oxford Economics. “They want to increase investment because they want to fill that need – and they have every reason to invest.”

Jeff Somple, president of Mack Molding — a contract manufacturer in Arlington, Vt. that makes custom components and full products for other companies — said the business was profitable. , even exploded. But staffing and supply constraints prevented his factories’ production capacity from keeping up. As a result, his team often had to decline orders.

“Every day, our number one challenge is to hunt down the parts we need to make a product,” whether raw plastic or circuit boards from China, he said, and then “scramble to find enough people” to assemble. .

The company increased the entry wage to about $15 an hour and the average wage to about $20 an hour. That hasn’t stopped a large number of employees from leaving or switching careers as soon as the business is doing well.

Some work-from-home opportunities are prioritized, or choose to work more flexible, than those offered at the factory, Mr. Somple said. Of those who stayed, many have been absent because of the spread of Covid-19 infections this winter: “It was kind of Whac-a-Mole here when we arrived on Monday and we asked , ‘Who’s coming to work and what departments are showing that we can put into the products that we make?’”

When bidding for circuit boards, lead time – the number of days from order to when the items arrive at the factory – is in some cases a year. “We can have 30 different suppliers that we depend on to make a product,” he explains. “So if one supplier had a problem and had us shut down, you know, we might have to shut down the entire production line that has 20 people working because we can’t deal with it. get this.”

Recreation, hospitality, tourism and other related service-based sectors are bracing for the worst of winter and what remains of the Omicron rise, while preparing for what businesses Industry and consumers hope will be a return to life as usual. US economy grew by 1.7% in Q4, lifting a strong year

Fry Electronics Team

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