August 22, 2019
Welcome to the launch of Cluster’s bi-weekly newsletter. We’ll be sharing the latest trends in industrial tech, hiring, and the future of work. We’re coming to you from sunny SoCal, home to one of the largest manufacturing and aerospace scenes in the nation, where we’ll be spotlighting trailblazing companies, top stories, and can’t-miss events from the region.
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U.S. Hiring: the Good, the Bad, & Boeing
- All good things must come to an end including U.S. job growth which is cooling, according to a recent Reuters report. Job gains averaged 140,000 per month over the last three months; a steep drop from the 223,000 average in 2018.
- On the bright side, the 16,000 jobs manufacturing added in July are nothing to sneeze at, in fact, the figure is pretty strong in the wake of the ongoing US-China trade war.
- The bad news is that manufacturers are cutting hours with the average workweek falling to its lowest level in nearly two years to 34.3 hours.
- Sigh. And then there’s Boeing, which is cited as “suffering an inventory bulge and design problems.” Persistent challenges at the world’s largest aerospace company can have a material impact on manufacturing, which makes up nearly 12% of the U.S. economy.
- So really, July served up a mixed bag. Even with the economy flashing some warning signs, the pace of job gains is keeping up with growth in the working-age population. The impressive 3.7% unemployment rate remained unchanged, and everyone is holding their breath that Boeing can get it together. more here >>
SpaceX, Blue Origin Among 13 Companies Selected for NASA Moon Missions
- Fifty years ago, the Apollo program put Neil Armstrong on the moon in an ambitious state-run endeavor, but the next mission to the lunar surface and beyond will be a collab with private companies.
- NASA’s Artemis program plans to land humans on the moon by 2024, and the agency announced partnerships with 13 companies to help in the quest.
- Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been tapped to vertically land large rockets on the surface and solve advance transfer propellant in orbit (i.e., refueling in space). Neither has ever been done before.
- Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin won the job to mature a navigation system for precise moon landings and engineer a fuel cell that can provide uninterrupted power for those weeks-long lunar nights.
- The Artemis program and private enterprise partnerships are intended to pave the way for crewed missions to Mars. more here >>
Today’s roundup was written by Lawren Henderson with contributions from Kim Taylor and Justin Parker in Los Angeles.
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Upcoming Events in SoCal
Aug 31-Sep 1: Space Expo
Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
If you're headed to the Long Beach Comic Expo then don't forget to join the Columbia Memorial Space Center on the con floor for a Space Expo full of fascinating panels. Info
Sept 13-15: Annual INCOSE Western States Regional Conference (WSRC)
Loyola Marymount University
If your career or business touches system engineering then you're gonna want to mark you calendar for the 2nd annual conference dedicated to this specialized discipline. Info
Check out our calendar of all the latest SoCal events here