Afternoon Coffee: Employment growth better than expected; Supplyframe study: Medical device supply chain on path to recovery; PRO Recap: Coupa-LLamasoft acquisition, CW/S Hot List

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The Labor Department reported Friday that employment growth was better than expected in October and the unemployment rate fell sharply even as the U.S. faces a surge in coronavirus cases, according to CNBC.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 638,000 and the unemployment rate sat at 6.9%. These numbers were better than anticipated by economists — who expected jobs gains of 530,000 and an unemployment rate of 7.7%. October’s gains were slightly off September’s pace of 672,000, the article reported.

Surveys of households showed even stronger levels of job growth, with the total employment level rising by 2.24 million and the employment to population ration increasing by 0.8 percentage points to 57.4%. Americans reporting they had been out of work because their employer lost business or closed during the pandemic dropped, falling to 15.1 million from 19.4 million. The article reported that the biggest job gains came in the hardest-hit sector during the pandemic — leisure and hospitality jumped by 271,000.

“The strength of this report is really amazing in the face of rising coronavirus cases,” Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors, told CNBC. “You would have expected that to start to show up in the data, particularly in places like leisure and hospitality, where the numbers are incredibly strong.”

Medical device supply chain on path to recovery, Supplyframe survey shows

Supplyframe released results of a new medical device supply chain study, which indicated a gradual path to recovery for the medical-technology industry over the next 18 months, according to a press release with the data. The study provides a snapshot of where the industry stands, what concerns remain and how to build capacity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research surveyed 200 supply chain professionals working at medical device companies in North America. The majority of respondents (74%) said recovery will take a year or longer, while a smaller percentage said it’s back at full capacity or will never reach that point again. The study listed agility, collaboration and data intelligence as elements that will help them adapt in the post-pandemic business landscape.

Among other key findings, the survey identified the top supply risks as: supply shortages (15%), lack of alternatives (12%) and delays in production issues (12%).

“While the medtech sector is among the hardest hit by the global pandemic, resulting in historic demand spikes and equipment shortages, it is also characterized by unparalleled innovation and collaboration from people around the world,” Steve Flagg, CEO of Supplyframe, said in the press release. “With the pandemic still a reality in our day-to-day lives, it is clear that a new approach to supply chain planning and collaboration is required.”

Spend Matters' analysts look at the Coupa-LLamasoft acquisition, contingent workforce  

This week, Spend Matters PRO analysts assessed Coupa’s acquisition of LLamasoft, a supply chain design and planning solution. Analyst Andrew Karpie also looked at the biggest news in the contingent workforce and services industry.

Our PRO subscribers can read the full articles, but all readers can see the lengthy intros that frame the issues being discussed. This week:

Also read our market coverage in this Nexus column by Jason Busch: Coupa’s Biggest Acquisition Yet (Part 1) — LLamasoft Transaction Overview, Initial Musings and Deal Tailwinds [Nexus]

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