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Shortages of Semiconductors, Plastics Hinder Manufacturers

March 19, 2021

Shortages of semiconductors and petrochemical products continue to impact manufacturers across the U.S. The Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports that the recent mass blackouts in Texas “led to chemical plant shutdowns that are disrupting global supply chains, causing a shortage of the raw materials needed for everything from medical face shields to smartphones.” It could be months more before all plants are fully back online, meaning prices for resins, plastics and related products will likely remain elevated.

Meanwhile, nearly one in 10 semiconductors are being made outside the U.S., creating a clear long-term vulnerability. The U.S. share of global semiconductor fabrication is 12%, down from 37% in 1990, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. (President Biden’s recent executive order addressing U.S. supply chains specifically mentions semiconductor manufacturing.) As a result of the ongoing semiconductor shortage, the global auto industry will produce up to 5 million fewer vehicles this year than originally planned, according to reports. 3/16/2021

U.S. Manufacturing Production Fell in February

March 19, 2021

U.S. manufacturing production fell 3.1% in February, the largest decline in 10 months, with supply chain disruptions and weather hampering output. Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, reports that durable and non-durable goods production declined 2.6% and 3.7%, respectively. 3/16/2021

Ohio Added Manufacturing Jobs in January

March 19, 2021

Ohio manufacturers added 400 jobs in January, according to the latest unemployment report from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Year over year — from January 2020 to January 2021 — manufacturing has lost 37,000 jobs in durable goods (-34,000) and non-durable goods (-3,000). Ohio’s current unemployment rate is 5.3%, compared to 6.3% nationally. 3/15/2021

OMA Opposes Prompt Pay Mandate on Construction Contracts

March 19, 2021

This week, the OMA teamed up with the Ohio Hospital Association to oppose House Bill 68 — a bill that would mandate prompt payment terms on private construction contracts. HB 68 would require owners of private construction projects (including manufacturers that are building, improving, or maintaining facilities in Ohio) to pay contractors within 30 days or face an 18% interest rate.

In their combined testimony, the OMA and OHA told the House Commerce and Labor Committee that their members negotiate and engage in countless contracts every year — and that HB 68 “rejects the concept of freedom of contract that has governed the majority of private transactions.” 3/18/2021

Ohio’s Roadmap to Post-Pandemic Recovery

March 19, 2021

On April 5, OMA Connections Partner Roetzel will host a free webinar to examine Ohio’s path to recovery after the pandemic. The event will feature Lt. Governor Jon Husted, OMA President Ryan Augsburger, and the Ohio Chamber’s Vice President of Government Affairs Keith Lake. The panel will discuss efforts to enhance Ohio’s workforce and economic development, including the rebirth of small business and the future of state health orders affecting commercial activity. 3/17/2021

OSU Showcases Operational Excellence, Industry 4.0

March 19, 2021

On April 7-8, The Ohio State University’s Center for Operational Excellence will host its eighth annual “Leading Through Excellence Summit” — to be held virtually this year. The event will include the Ohio Manufacturing Institute’s Ned Hill and Kathryn Kelley, who will host a breakout session titled: “The Slow-Roll(out) of the Connected Enterprise: Reality Check From the Land of Industry 4.0.” The session will focus on extensive research of digitally connected manufacturing enterprises and their strategies. Learn more or register. 3/16/2021

Batchelder, Dillon, Garceau Elected to OMA Board

March 12, 2021

On March 9, the OMA board met virtually for its first meeting of 2021. Led by Chairman Jane Neal, senior vice president of AMG Vanadium LLC, the meeting featured a briefing on OMA activities and the association’s key performance indicators. The following new directors were elected to the board:

General Counsel Chris Slagle and OMA staff briefed the board on Statehouse activities and regulatory developments that could impact Ohio’s economic competitiveness. The board will meet again June 8. 3/9/2021

At a Glance: The New Federal COVID-19 Law

March 12, 2021

The latest federal COVID-19 bill — the American Rescue Plan Act, which authorizes another $1.9 trillion in spending — is now law. It contains a total of $11.2 billion for Ohio, according to reports. Here are the press releases from Ohio’s U.S. Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown.

OMA Connections Partner Plante Moran has published this summary of the law. Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has a similar summary.

Among other things, the law expands the employee retention credit, extends payroll credits for COVID-19-related paid sick leave and paid family leave, and adds funding to the Paycheck Protection Program. It also extends the additional pandemic unemployment payments at $300 (versus $400) through Sept. 6. The $15 minimum wage provision is not included. 3/12/2021

Survey: Manufacturers’ Optimism Hits Two-Year High

March 12, 2021

U.S. manufacturing employment has risen in nine of the last 10 months, according to the recent employment report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Here are Ohio’s most recent manufacturing employment data.) The National Association of Manufacturers reports that manufacturers’ optimism in its first outlook survey of 2021 has increased to nearly 88% — the highest reading in two years.

Chad Moutray, NAM’s chief economist, reports that the average hourly earnings of production and non-supervisory workers in manufacturing rose to $23.19 in February, up from $22.50 (3.1%) from a year earlier. 3/9/2021

Analyzing the Impact of Brexit on U.S. Manufacturing

March 12, 2021

OMA Connections Partner RSM writes that American manufacturers need to pay attention to the impact of Brexit due to the large U.S. manufacturing and distribution footprint in the U.K. The firm says now that the U.K. is no longer part of the EU, U.S. manufacturers will need to consider two certifications — one for exporting to Europe and one for exporting to the U.K. Read more of RSM’s insight. 3/9/2021