The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association is committed to bringing you the most up-to-date information in the industry. Here’s a look at what’s happening:
FINAL FORMALDEHYDE EMISSIONS FROM COMPOSITE WOOD PRODUCTS REGULATIONS
Canadian Environmental Protection Act
The final Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on July 7, 2021. The regulations help reduce exposure of Canadians to formaldehyde emissions in indoor air from composite wood products sold, offered for sale or imported into Canada. The regulations place limits on the amount of formaldehyde that composite wood products can emit. Regulations come into force on January 7, 2023.
To meet emission limits, the regulations impose requirements on industry for record-keeping, labelling, and reporting. They also align Canadian requirements for composite wood products with similar requirements in the United States, thereby helping to minimize burden for businesses operating in both Canada and the U.S.
LINGERING SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTIONS SEEN AS ONLY TRANSITORY
Supply chain disruptions continue to wreak havoc on material prices, product backlogs, freight costs and kitchen/bath project timelines, although current conditions are likely a temporary speed bump rather than a lasting roadblock to future market growth.
That’s the view of most construction market experts, including leading manufacturers, who are forecasting that the current challenges impacting the kitchen and bath product supply chain are transitory rather than permanent, and should dissipate, for the most part, by the same time next year.
Product suppliers – as well as kitchen/bath designers, distributors, home builders, remodelers and others – have been facing a year-long “perfect storm” of surging demand coupled with materials shortages, logistical challenges and global factory shutdowns wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, while remodeling demand is soaring as vaccination rates increase and emerging lifestyles spark reconfigured home layouts, supply-chain disruptions have resulted in acute shortages of critical building products. Supply constraints, at the same time, have caused material costs to soar. Read more.
A THIRD GRADE PLANT TOUR TURNS INTO DREAM ENGINEER JOB AT GE APPLIANCES
While most kids want to grow up to the proverbial firefighter, Jordan Julius dreamed about becoming an engineer who designed equipment. Why? Well in third grade she visited the assembly line at Appliance Park, Louisville, Kentucky, where GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, has its headquarters. She liked what she saw.
Her dream became reality in 2019 when at age 26 when she was hired by GEA to design the manufacturing process and assembly line for the new Zoneline vertical terminal air conditioner (VTAC) line being put in at Monogram Refrigeration in Selmer, Tennessee. VTACs are commonly used in hotels and private residential facilities. The new product line was formerly produced in Mexico, and the decision was made to reshore production closer to U.S. customers. The move, which shortened lead times, also added WiFi-connected and diagnostic capabilities. Read more.
L.A. PORT HITS MILESTONE FOR PROCESSING CONTAINERS
The Port of Los Angeles became the first port in the Western Hemisphere to process 10 million container units in a 12-month period, reaching the milestone on June 10.
The 10 millionth container and the ship it was brought on belonged to CMA CGM, a French container transportation and shipping company. CMA CGM cites the consumer buying surge brought on by the corona-virus pandemic along with restocking of retailers and e- commerce warehouses across the country for the dramatic rise in imports.
“As the Port of Los Angeles’ largest ocean carrier, the CMA CGM Group ships thousands of containers to and from California every day,” Ed Aldridge, the president of CMA CGM and APL North America, said in a statement provided to Transport Topics. “But today’s historic TEU – number 10 million for the port — carries more than just cargo, but hope.” Read more.
REMODELING SPENDING UP SHARPLY, HOUZZ SURVEY FINDS
Home renovation spending has grown 15% in the past year, with kitchens remaining the most popular remodeling projects undertaken by U.S. homeowners, according to the tenth annual “Houzz & Home” survey.
The annual survey of more than 70,000 registered users of Houzz found that while median spending on kitchen remodeling has been flat for the past three years, investment on major remodels of kitchens jumped 14% in 2020 compared to the prior year. The survey, fielded this spring, also found that the renovation market will continue to be robust in 2021, with 56% of surveyed homeowners planning to renovate this year, the highest share since 2017.
“While the pandemic caused initial concern for the residential renovation industry, many homeowners finally had the time and financial means to move forward with long-awaited projects in the past year,” said Marine Sargsyan, senior economist for the Palo Alto, CA-based online platform. Read more.
STEADY JOB GROWTH & INCREASED WAGES:
5 NUMBERS FROM THE JUNE JOBS REPORT
The economy added 850,000 jobs in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, and the unemployment rate was 5.9%, little changed from 5.8% in May. This increasingly strong job growth shows that we’re moving in the right direction.
Here are five numbers that help explain the current state of the American job market:
Over the past three months, we've added an average of about 567,000 jobs to the economy. This is great news but we still have a steep climb ahead to reach a full and inclusive recovery.
Despite significant job gains, many workers still face high levels of unemployment – especially workers of color. The unemployment rate is 5.2 % for white workers and 5.8% for Asian workers, but it’s significantly higher for Black and Hispanic workers, at 9.2% and 7.4%, respectively.
The headline unemployment rate is just one measure of economic hardship. When we add up the number of people unemployed plus those who are marginally attached to the labor force, (aka they aren’t working or looking for work but want a job) plus those who are employed part-time for economic reasons, we identify the broadest measure of how workers are faring in the economy. The percentage of people in this category fell to 9.8% – the first time it’s been below 10% since the pandemic began. This is good news because often these groups are the last to feel the effects of recovery.
Workers are seeing strong growth in their wages, with an increase of 1.4% in average hourly earnings over the past three months. This is the biggest three-month increase we’ve seen during any pre-pandemic period since 2006.
The pandemic took a disproportionate toll on working women, with more than 2 million leaving the workforce in 2020. Though we have a lot more work to do to create an economy that adequately supports and compensates working women, this month’s report did include some good news: The labor force participation rate for prime-aged women (25-54) increased by 0.4 percentage points.