Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Jan. 22, 2014

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Jan. 22, 2014

Women Leaving US Factory Floors; YRC Worldwide in Deep Financial Hole Yet Again; US Manufacturing Finally Almost Back to 2007 Peak Levels; China Demographic Changes are Huge


2.44 Million

Decline in the size of China's working age population in 2013, marking the second consecutive year of shrinkage, the country's National Bureau of Statistics reported on Monday. The working age population - defined as those from 15 to 59 - accounted for 67.6% of the country's overall population - down 1.6 percentage points from the previous year. China's shrinking workforce will spur the transformation of the country from "factory to the world" into the "investor to the world," said Sanjeev Sanyal, of Deustche Bank on CNBC this week. This will create opportunities for other emerging markets such as Indonesia, Philippines and India to enter market segments being vacated by China, including export-oriented manufacturing.




Level to which the percent of US women in US manufacturing (shop floor) has fallen, according to a recent report from Congress on manufacturing work generally. That is the lowest level since 1971, and is down from the peak of just over 32% in 1990. It has been a steady fall since then. With the post-recession recovery being reasonably strong in manufacturing, the number of men working on the shop floor has risen about 7% since 2010, while the number of women in similar positions is down .3% over the same period. Reasons why are not clear.


$69.4 Million

Payment amount that once again financially struggling LTL carrier YRC Worldwide faces in mid-February, but that is just a small portion of the more than $1 billion in debt the company owes in total and which it may not be able to repay. To avert another potential bankruptcy crisis, the company is asking the Teamsters union to extend wage and benefit concessions agreed to in 2009 from a 2015 expiration to 2019. The union voted overwhelmingly No a few weeks ago, but a revised proposal will be decided by YRC's 26,000 union employees this weekend. Union officials support the new deal.



Level of the US manufacturing production index in December, as reported by the Federal Reserve last Friday, putting it increasingly close to the peak and baseline year of 2007 - more than 5 years after the start of the great recession. SCDigest primarily tracks just manufacturing output, rather than the industrial output most commonly cited in the press, which includes mining and the volatile utilities sector, which for example rises sharply in periods of very high or low temperatures - not a sign of overall economic strength. December marked the fifth consecutive month of manufacturing growth. It's been a long slow climb from the bottom in June of 2009, when the measure fell to about 80, 20% below average 2007 levels.