FurnitureCore
Search Twitter Facebook Digital HFBusiness Magazine Pinterest Google
Advertisement
Ad_JOY

Get the latest industry scoop

Subscribe

Factoids

Factoids offer brief snapshots of current topics pertinent to the Furniture industry based on our on-going research. Increase your grasp of current trends, consumer attitudes, and shifts within the industry through solid statistics and concise insight.

View Factoid Library

 

rss

Factoids

Companies Facing Nationwide Worker Shortage Civilian Labor Force

This is the third factoid in a series of four factoids showing how labor shortages throughout the U.S. are fast becoming a real issue across all major industries. From farms to factories, employers are having a hard time finding both unskilled and skilled workers. The brick and mortar home furnishings industry is not immune to the worker shortage crisis facing American businesses.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics supports the growing need facing companies to attract and retain employees, while adapting their training methods and introducing technology that fills the gap of a smaller workforce.

The Civilian Labor Force includes persons employed and those unemployed, but actively looking for work. Down 3.2 percentage points from 2006, the current work force (February 2018) makes up 63 percent of the total civilian population over the age of 16. Roughly 37 percent of the population over 16 is not considered part of the labor force. This segment – Not in the Labor Force – consists of people who are in school and do not work, those who have grown disillusioned searching for work and not actively looking, and those who choose not to work for various reasons.

The unemployment rate has dropped to 4.1 percent in February of this year – the lowest since 2000. Unfortunately, this has not translated into big gains for the employed population. At 63.0 percent, the percent of the population employed continues to stay well below pre-recession levels, while people not in the labor force climbs further, growing 3.2 percentage points from 2006 to 2018 (February).

The labor force historically includes teenagers, ages 16 to 19, as they make up a large portion of the part-time labor market. This year, ages 16 to 19 account for 6.5 percent of the total civilian population over the age of 16, but only 3.7 percent of the workforce. In addition to an unemployment rate of 14.4 percent among teens, many are opting out of summer jobs and represent 11.3 percent of the total persons “not in the labor force.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teenagers opting out of summer work is not due to laziness, but rather education taking its place. In addition to many school districts either lengthening the school day or academic year, many students are taking summer classes to “get ahead “ – cutting into time for a job.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Companies Facing Nationwide Worker Shortage: Job Openings by Industry and Region

This is the second factoid in a series of four factoids showing how labor shortages throughout the U.S. are fast becoming a real issue across all major industries. From farms to factories, employers are having a hard time finding both unskilled and skilled workers. The brick and mortar home furnishings industry is not immune to the worker shortage crisis facing American businesses.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics supports the growing need facing companies to attract and retain employees, while adapting their training methods and introducing technology that fills the gap of a smaller workforce.

With 711,000 job openings in January, Retail Trade is struggling to hire and keep sales people. This accounts for 11.3 percent of total job openings – up from 10.2 percent last year. Both Healthcare and Social Assistance and Professional and Business Services make up 34 percent of all job openings – a total of 2.1 million jobs. 12.7 percent of job openings in 2018 (Jan) belong to the Hospitality industry (Accommodation and Food Services).

Job Openings by Region

While the South leads the way in total job openings (2.2 million), openings in the Midwest soared in one year to a rate of 4.6 percent – up from 3.7 percent. As many farms struggle to find workers, job openings in the West jumped 26 percent to 1.5 million jobs from 2017 to 2018 and finished January with a rate of 4.3 percent, while the Northeast has both the lowest rate (3.6 percent) and number of vacancies (1 million).

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Note: The job openings rate is the number of job openings on the last business day of the month as a percent of total employment plus job openings

Companies Facing Nationwide Worker Shortage: Rate of Job Openings

This is the first factoid in a series of four factoids showing how labor shortages throughout the U.S. are fast becoming a real issue across all major industries. From farms to factories, employers are having a hard time finding both unskilled and skilled workers. The brick and mortar home furnishings industry is not immune to the worker shortage crisis facing American businesses. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics supports the growing need facing companies to attract and retain employees, while adapting their training methods and introducing technology that fills the gap of a smaller workforce.

According to the latest data, the U.S. has 6.3 million job openings and 6.7 million unemployed workers. In many cases, the skill sets required for the job and/or the wages required by the worker for these open positions do not match with the available unemployed labor force pool in the required geographic area.

Job Openings by Industry

Accommodation (hospitality) and food services is the hardest hit industry with 5.5 percent job vacancy – increasing from 4.6 percent last year. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, tourism accounts for over 14 million jobs in the United States and a continued rise in job openings could impede economic growth for the hospitality sector.

Healthcare and social assistance had 1.03 million jobs open in January 2018, the most of any sector, and was among the highest with an open job rate of five percent. Job openings among transportation, warehousing, and utilities jumped 63.1 percent over a year – from 187,000 to 305,000. Retail trade, which includes all furniture and home furnishing stores, had 711,000 jobs opens and a job opening rate of 4.3 percent– up 28.6 percent from the same period last year.

Government jobs – Federal, State, and Local – had the lowest rate of job openings at 2.1 percent. With rates under 4 percent (3.5 percent and 3.1 percent), job vacancies among Construction and Educational Services still rose 57.2 percent and 42.9 percent respectively from 2017 to 2018.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Note: The job openings rate is the number of job openings on the last business day of the month as a percent of total employment plus job openings

Exports of Household Furniture by Country In Selected Years 2002 to 2017

In 2017, imports of household furniture rose 10.7 percent compared to only 3.8 percent growth in retail sales. The Great Recession, 2007 to 2009, brought with it a major collapse in international trade – deeply affecting both imports and exports of household furniture. In recent years, growing wages, higher employment, a boost in consumer confidence and a healthy housing market have propelled import growth. Meanwhile, exports have struggled to maintain the initial post-recession climb. This is the final factoid in a series of five factoids detailing U.S. imports and exports from 2002 to 2017.

Exports by Country

As previously detailed in this factoid series, the U.S. exports $1 in furniture products for every $10 in imported furniture. After rising over 45 percent from the recession (2009) to $3.4 billion in 2015, U.S. exports of household furniture have decreased by 7 percent in 2 years to $3.15 billion in 2017. Only three countries – Canada, Mexico, and China – represent more than 3 percent of U.S. imports. More than half (56.3 percent) of U.S. furniture exports is to Canada.

The U.S. trade deficit in household furniture grew an additional negative $3 billion dollars last year, from -$24.6 billion in 2016 to -$27.6 billion in 2017. U.S. imports continue to increase from China alongside a growing Vietnam wood manufacturing presence. A poor showing for U.S. exports over the past two years is also troubling. With threats of trade wars brewing, and the U.S.’s dependency on China for its household furniture, the industry does not want to get caught in the crosshairs.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade

Major Furniture Imports by Material Type In Selected Years : 2002 to 2017

In 2017, imports of household furniture rose 10.7 percent compared to only 3.8 percent growth in retail sales. The Great Recession, 2007 to 2009, brought with it a major collapse in international trade – deeply affecting both imports and exports of household furniture. In recent years, growing wages, higher employment, a boost in consumer confidence and a healthy housing market have propelled import growth. Meanwhile, exports have struggled to maintain the initial post-recession climb. This is the fourth in a series of five factoids detailing U.S. imports and exports from 2002 to 2017.

Wood Household Furniture

Wood household furniture imports totaled $11.8 billion in 2017 and are up 9 percent over the previous year. At a 38 percent share of wood furniture imports in 2017, China still owns the wood category at $4.5 billion, but has lost significant share to Vietnam. Vietnam has grown from less than 1 percent of wood furniture imports to over 25 percent from 2002 to 2017. Canada, once a major player in wood furniture, has fallen to only 6.7 percent of the total. Malaysia and Indonesia continue their steady wood niches but control less than 6 percent of wood imports each.

Upholstered Household Furniture

Unlike the wood category, China has very little competition in upholstered goods in the international marketplace. Although not producing as high a market share, Vietnam has also made great strides in upholstery – growing from $7 million in 2002 to $700 million in 2017 and having a one year increase of 51.2 percent from 2016 to 2017. Once a major player, Italy was the leading exporter of upholstery to the U.S. until 2003 when China surpassed them. Once importing 28 percent of upholstered furniture, now the U.S. imports only 3 percent from Italy.

Metal Household Furniture

Even more so than upholstery, China dominates the market in imported metal household furniture with 75 percent market share. China increased from $1.7 billion in 2002 to $5.6 billion in 2017 – a jump of 225 percent in 15 years. While imports from Canada have grown since the bottom of the recession in 2009, it continues to lose market share to China. Imports from both Mexico and Taiwan have decreased since 2015, but Vietnam has maintained an annual average increase of 38 percent.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade

Imports of Household Furniture by Broad Product

In Selected Years 2002 to 2017

In 2017, imports of household furniture rose 10.7 percent compared to only 3.8 percent growth in retail sales. The Great Recession, 2007 to 2009, brought with it a major collapse in international trade – deeply affecting both imports and exports of household furniture. In recent years, growing wages, higher employment, a boost in consumer confidence and a healthy housing market have propelled import growth. Meanwhile, exports have struggled to maintain the initial post-recession climb. This is the third in a series of five factoids detailing U.S. imports and exports from 2002 to 2017.

Major Furniture Imports by Material Type

Wood furniture imports have always been king but are now feeling the pressure from upholstery and metal. It has only been in the past two years that wood imports surpassed pre-recession import levels. But at $11.8 billion in 2017, wood products are still the largest material category among furniture import but have receded to 38.5 percent of total furniture imports in 2017 – down from 56.5 percent in 2002. Conversely both upholstery and metal have been increasing at a high rate, and combined, now account for almost 50 percent (49.2 percent).

Purchases of upholstery and metal household furniture from around the world have increased more than 68 percent since 2007. Although it is the smallest imported product category, bedding has catapulted since 2002 – increasing over 2,000 percent. Reaching $1 billion in 2017, imports of mattresses have grown 51.8 percent in just a year. Much of this increase can be attributed to adjustable bed bases and mattresses of cellular rubber or plastics.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade

U.S. Furniture Imports by Country In Selected Years 2002 to 2017

In 2017, imports of household furniture rose 10.7 percent compared to only 3.8 percent growth in retail sales. The Great Recession, 2007 to 2009, brought with it a major collapse in international trade – deeply affecting both imports and exports of household furniture. In recent years, growing wages, higher employment, a boost in consumer confidence and a healthy housing market have propelled import growth. Meanwhile, exports have struggled to maintain the initial post-recession climb. This is the second in a series of five factoids detailing U.S. imports and exports from 2002 to 2017.

Over 200 countries export furniture into the U.S. but only nine represent over 90 percent of the total value coming into this country. China’s furniture exports alone have grown to roughly 60 percent of total U.S. imports – up 19.3 percentage points from 2002 to 2017. China has retained its hold on U.S. Imports through the recession. Since the peak of the recession in 2009, the value of imports from China has grown 98.8 percent to $18 billion.

Reversing dramatically over the previous decade, Canada’s decline alongside Vietnam’s rise still continues from 2009 to 2017. Vietnam has jumped from 0.5 percent of total U.S. imports in 2002 to 13 percent in 2017, while Canada has plummeted from 18.3 percent to 5.6 percent in the same 15 year period. Canada’s value of imported furniture fell 30.4 percent 2002 to 2017. Mexico has lessened its share of U.S. imports slightly since 2015 – down 0.6 percentage points to 4.5 percent in 2017, but the value of imports has increased by 3 percent to $1.4 billion.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade

Furniture Import Growth Almost Triple over Retail Sales 2017

In 2017, imports of household furniture rose 10.7 percent compared to only 3.8 percent growth in retail sales. The Great Recession, 2007 to 2009, brought with it a major collapse in international trade – deeply affecting both imports and exports of household furniture. In recent years, growing wages, higher employment, a boost in consumer confidence and a healthy housing market have propelled import growth. Meanwhile, exports have struggled to maintain the initial post-recession climb. This is the first in a series of five factoids detailing U.S. imports and exports from 2002 to 2017.

In 2017 the U.S. ran a $569 billion dollar trade deficit in all goods and services. Household furniture products at $30.7 billion in imports versus only $3.2 billion in exports represented only 3.4 percent of that deficit. Most astonishing, however, is that for all U.S. goods, the ratio of imports to exports was 1.5 while the ratio for furniture products was 9.7, almost 10 to 1.

World dollar totals of household furniture imports have nearly doubled from $15.58 billion in 2009 to $30.74 billion in 2017 – increasing an average of nine percent a year. Already just a fraction of U.S imports, U.S. exports of household furniture have failed to continue the upswing experienced from 2009 to 2015 when it jumped over $1 billion. Over the last two years (2015 to 2017) exports have declined by -7.1 percent down to $3.15 billion.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade

Industry Sales by Quarter 2011 Q2 to 2018 Q2 Furniture & Bedding

After a steady first quarter, total furniture industry sales continued to climb in quarter two, the healthiest growth since 2015. Furniture and bedding sales totaled $28.05 billion the second quarter and $55.04 for the first half of 2018. Despite a sluggish bedding market, total industry sales increased 8.1 percent in 2018 Q2 compared to a poor second quarter last year. Versus the first quarter of this year, sales grew 3.9 percent. First half 2018 sales were up 7 percent over 2017.

Furniture (excluding Bedding) in the second quarter grew 8.9 percent in the second quarter of this year versus the same quarter in 2017 totaling $24.24 billion. Compared to the first quarter of 2018, furniture sales increased 5.5 percent.

Due to the cyclical nature of the Bedding industry, second quarter sales typically weaker than the first of third quarters. Preliminary estimates put second quarter Bedding at $3.81 billion and year to date totals at $7.83 billion. 2018 Q2 finished 3.5 percent higher compare to 2017 Q2 and declined 5.1 percent over the 2018 Q1. For the first half of 2018, Bedding sales are up an estimated 3.1 percent.

The second quarter of 2018 maintained sustained and healthy quarter over quarter growth for furniture and bedding. Industry sales of $28.05 billion reflect an increase of 8.1 percent over 2017 Q2. Compared to the first quarter of this year sales are up 3.9 percent.

Furniture (excluding Bedding) increased 8.9 percent in 2018 Q2 versus the same second quarter of 2017 with sales of $24.24 billion. This figure is also 5.5 percent higher than the previous 2018 Q1.

Bedding sales are still under review, but preliminary results show 2018 Q2 Bedding at $3.81 billion, up 3.5 percent over the same Q2 of 2017. Compared to last quarter, 2018 Q1, sales fell 5.1 percent.

Labor Force 2026: Economic Dependency Ratio In Selected Years: 1996 to 2026

Although unemployment is down and an additional 10.5 million people are expected to be employed over the 2016 to 2026 decade, the diminishing rate of labor force growth due to an aging population and other changing demographics is projected to further slow the U.S. labor force participation rate. This is the final factoid in a series of six factoids detailing the projected demographic shifts in the workforce as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 Q4. *See factoid one in this series for Labor Force Methodology

In its purest form, full employment implies that any person wanting a job has one. The issue with employment data is that the Civilian Labor Force definition leaves out the number of people not looking for employment. These are the hidden numbers that are a challenge to economic growth.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the Economic Dependency Ratio to highlight the impact of the non-employed which they define as the ratio of the number of people in the total population who are not in the labor force, per 100 of those who are. This is the portion of the population “dependent” on the working population. The BLS projections for 2026 highlight the growing economic pressure of the aging population on those in the workforce. The growth in the dependency of ages 65 and over will increase from 24.9 people per 100 workers to 30.9 older Americans. Even so, seniors still the lowest dependency ratio. The dependency ratio of 16 to 64 year olds not in the labor force increased steadily to 2016, but is projected to lessen slightly by 2026. In 2026 there will be an estimated 35 Americans between the ages of 16 and 64 who are not working per 100 American in the labor force. Children under 16 still have the highest dependency ratio, but it has declined from 45.4 per 100 to a projected 2025 ratio of 38.9.

A high dependency ratio can exacerbate the problems a government faces in health, social security & education costs, which are most used by the youngest and the oldest in a population.

Source: Employment Projections Program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics *projected

Furniture Training Company
[Ad_Power50]
Magalog
HFB Designer Weekly
LinkedIn
HFB Pinterest