Two Reports: Hiring Gaining Strength: Go Lean!

According to both: 1) today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report and 2) yesterday’s Institute for Supply Management (ISM) data, hiring, especially in manufacturing and technology, is picking up steam.

BLS said today that U.S. payrolls grew by 162,000 last month and the unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.4%; its lowest level since December 2008. This means that 532,000 new jobs have been created over the last three months!

Furthermore, yesterday’s ISM report showed major manufacturing expansion! The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 55.4 in July from 50.9 in June. A reading above 50 indicates expanding activity. July’s reading was the highest since June 2011. Many economists had expected the latest PMI to come in a lot lower at 52.0.

One of the manufacturing fields leading the charge is LEAN. This vocation, which continues to be in very high demand and extremely short supply, focuses on ways to streamline plant operations, reduce bottlenecks and improve overall efficiencies of an organization (Please go to for a more detailed description of the field and concepts). Related keywords include Continuous Improvement, Six Sigma, Kaizen, Kanban, debottlenecking, Toyota Production System or TPS and Just-In-Time or JIT.

Especially for manufacturers in industries that are in stiff competition with Asian rivals with very tight margins (e.g. automobiles and electronics), LEAN can be a remedy for profitability!

As a result, LEAN positions are paying very well across the nation in general and in the Chicago area in specific. For example, two of our current searches are for LEAN Project Managers for a leading Chicagoland confectionary company. They seek candidates with ten or more years experience and are offering salaries between $90,000 to 105,000 salary with bonuses of up to 20%!

Furthermore, many of our clients across the nation are starting recent engineering graduates (especially Mechanical, Industrial or Manufacturing) with only one LEAN internship as their only real work experience at $50,000 or more!

Although there are no precise salary surveys for LEAN, one of the closest is from APICS (The Association for Operations Management). Especially, their job category “Execution & Control of Operations,” which pinpoints the huge salaries now being offered in the LEAN field.

Please let me know if you would like a copy of this current APICS salary survey, learn more about LEAN or need help with any recruiting or workplace problems. Please call me at 312-944-4000.