I have been wondering if manufacturing companies have been investing in new machines rather than hire more people. If you hire an employee you have a cost if you buy a machine you get a deduction plus an asset. If they invest in faster more efficient machines they need fewer people which means more profit. I was at a small machine shop that makes some welded products and I couldnt believe how cheap they were I figured that even with the cheapest welder on the planet you would need to charge alot more than they were when I went in the back they had 3 robots welding and one loading and a shop monkey bringing the parts to the loader. This is a small manufacturer and is owned by a guy in his early 30s.