2018 — Good Economic News

Industry Week’s January 29, 2018 edition featured an article “State of the Economy: January 2018”. The article uses big picture macro economic statistics, which show optimistic news. It begins with this: “We are off to a positive, yet demure start to 2018. Leading economies are exhibiting slower, but stable growth and the U.S. has followed a similar trend with many manufacturing companies excited for growth due to new tax laws.   The cyclical upswing that is… Read More

Trump has Manufacturing all Wrong

Reshoring is of great interest to us at Proficient Sourcing because of our desire—and ability to provide good manufacturing candidates for the outsourcing needs of most OEM’s.  We have a very wide and diverse collection of shops to do just that.  If reshoring is on your agenda, we hope you will keep us in mind.  Here’s a listing of most of the capabilities we can offer.  In fact, we are available and ready to assist… Read More

Rare Earths – Continued

If your supply chain includes items involving rare earths, a recent executive order signed by president Trump would be worthy of your attention. According to a Washington Post article from December 20, 2017, “President Trump signed an executive order….instructing his deputies to devise a strategy to reduce the nation’s reliance on critical minerals that are largely imported and used to produce everything from smartphones to weaponry”.  If this means the government is going to take… Read More

Jobs and the Skills Gap—What To Do?

There’s been a great deal of news about jobs, jobs, jobs lately.   “In June, the Business Roundtable reported half of its members were having difficulty finding applicants with employability skills, like math, the ability to read technical manuals, and complex problem-solving”. Are you concerned about this skills gap?   If so, what to do? “In an article in the Harvard Business Review, Andy Smarick discussed the disruption of computers in numerous industries over the last two… Read More

Minimum Wage 2.0

Minimum wage has been a hot topic lately, and the subject of a recent newsletter (  In it’s simplest form, the arguments for say it’s an economic boost and step to address income inequality.  The cons say it hurts those most in need of jobs (the unskilled young).  So this time we’ll examine the issue a bit more and hope you will add to our blog. Our first question is if the minimum wage question… Read More

Gender Pay Equality — An Update

Workplace gender pay equality (or the lack thereof) is often in the news, so we look for (hopefully) reliable new information. Last December we found something about C-suite equality ( and just this week we found another. Our guess is many of you have had experience with salary negotiations during job interviews, so this one may be of particular interest. We hope so. The September 5, 2017, article in the Harvard Business Review, “Why Banning… Read More

US Manufacturing Jobs (and more)—Then and Now

There’s a lot of political noise lately about jobs and especially manufacturing jobs.  So what’s realistic and what’s the story with all this?  We found a couple of articles that provide clues (links at the end). Most of us involved in manufacturing know of the good old days when the US was king of the world, manufacturing jobs were plentiful and paid well with generous benefits.  All that was due in large part to the… Read More

Work for a big company—big advantage…or not?

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when people sought employment with big firms and stayed with those firms for a career. Then it was believed, and probably rightly so, that salaries and benefits were a big advantage for employment with major companies. It appears that this belief has been relegated to the dustbin of history, probably forever in our view, according to an article from the Wharton School of Business from… Read More

Big Company Profit Growth? Why?

Recently we found a report of profit growth for companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 of nearly 14% in the first quarter of 2017. Given the poor overall economic growth (GDP growth was 0.7% in the first quarter—a 3 year low!), there’s the obvious question of what’s going on here? This report from USA Today (link at the bottom) article says that stronger demand for US goods by foreigners is the reason. What follows… Read More

Minimum Wage: Good Deal…for whom?

Raising the minimum wage appears on the political agenda every now and again.  There are some who believe a major increase in the minimum wage is an important weapon in the inequality battle.   It’s clear the minimum wage, if changed significantly, will have many effects, so what’s the real story? Let’s start with this July 2016 report from Journalist’s Resource: “A 2013 paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, “Revisiting the Minimum Wage-Employment Debate: Throwing… Read More