We clear one hurdle and another emerges

April 5, 2022
Hurdles are much easier to overcome when you’re already running.

By Chris McNamara, Smart Industry editor in chief


On March 6, President Joe Biden tweeted the following message: “Last year has been the best year for manufacturing jobs and trucking jobs since 1994.”

Not the most succinctly written tweet, but an encouraging one nonetheless, particularly during this period of a (thankfully waning) pandemic and (troublingly waxing) conflict in Eastern Europe. We clear one hurdle and another emerges.

President Biden is referencing the February 2022 Jobs Report, which notes that the US economy had “created 678,000 jobs, following the greatest year of job growth in American history and the fastest economic growth in almost 40 years.”

The unemployment rate shrunk down to 3.8%, as Americans went back to work in February across a wide ranges of industries—with jobs gained in leisure and hospitality, construction, retail and manufacturing.

This is terrific news for those of us in the manufacturing world and those of us who benefit from success in this space. Namely…everybody.

And that positivity is reflected in the cover feature of our latest issue of Smart Industry, which spotlights some of the industry thought-leadership collected in our 2022 Crystal Ball Report. The consensus outlook for the near future of manufacturing is a positive one. Of course, these insights were collected just before the conflict in Ukraine, so that element does not factor into the forecasts. But we do address that war with the perspectives of two manufacturers taking unique approaches to their global operations.

Be sure to check that out.

And then dive into features on the role of efficient batteries for edge optimization, how 5G is empowering industrial space of all sorts, and a use case on smarter reporting at a compressor plant.

Emerging from the COVID pandemic is hardly a finish line. None of us expected that. But neither did we expect that a two-year-long hurdle would be followed up so quickly by another global crisis. We keep learning. We embrace smart new tools and techniques. We keep our heads up.

And, as anyone who has ever run track-and-field will tell you, hurdles are much easier to overcome when you’re already running.

Until we automate this column…