US Manufacturing is Going Strong, but with Fewer Workers

Posted: June 18, 2014 in Uncategorized, US Manufacturing
Tags: , , , , ,
US Manufacturing

US manufacturing

Since the end of the Great Recession, one of the brighter parts of the U.S. economy has been the manufacturing sector. American manufacturers added $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy, about 6.6% higher than the previous year, in 2010. The rest of the economy went up about 2.2%. As surprising as it may be, the United States manufactures more than any other country, including China. Also, in 2000 the U.S. factories reached their all time greatest output, a record they are close to reaching again much like they did in 2007. 2011 brought about some 120,000 new factory jobs. This was the first year-over-year increase in manufacturing employment since the late 1990’s. Despite this growth in manufacturing jobs, 11.8 million Americans work in manufacturing today; this is 40% less than the peak in June 1979. Looking back further, in 1953, 32% of American workers were employed in manufacturing. In today’s age, 9% of Americans are in manufacturing, a significant difference from the peak of American manufacturing. American factories have become much more productive in terms of output per hour, in the past three decades. This production increase is three and a half times higher than production was in 1979. The increase in production is helped by the offshoring of low-value jobs and the automation of factories. These productivity increases are more pronounced during recessions, as manufacturers lay off workers for the purchase and use of machines to increase production as the economy grows and demand rises. U.S. output increases and American manufacturing competing with low-cost operations in developing countries is good for the economy, but when it comes to new jobs and avoiding another recession, factories are not the answer.

(Article by Dave Sader, CarbideDies.wordpress.com, 6-18-2014)

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Comments
  1. Sad state of affairs. Small business is USA employee more people than any other sector. We need to stick together in the manufacturing sector.

  2. Dan Voell says:

    Agreed. I would also be interested to know what percentage of the current manufacturing jobs are considered “skilled” vs. “unskilled”. It seems as though the automation has also contributed to lower paying manufacturing jobs for those who have them.

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