Manufacturing Jobs in the United States

Although the recovery since the recession has been a rocky road for many industries, positive growth from the manufacturing sector has been quite evident in the past few years. In 2012, the National Association of Manufacturers suggested that for every dollar spent in manufacturing, $1.48 was added to the economy.

Out of all industries, this multiplier was the highest. Manufacturing is part of the backbone of the American economy and employs millions upon millions of people. American workers are incredibly productive and represent the most valuable manufacturing economy in the world.

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The Real Value Of Manufacturing
Numbers suggest that there are over 17 million people employed in the United States because of the manufacturing industry. This means that, as far as private-sector jobs are concerned, about one in six workers in the country heads to work each day to a job that exists because of the manufacturing industry.

Additionally, there are around 12 million people who actually work in manufacturing jobs within the industry itself. Because the manufacturing industry gives back so much to the economy, looking at ways to increase manufacturing capacity is a worthwhile endeavor.

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The Unknown Impact Of The Recession
The impact of the recession on the manufacturing sector was significant with statistics suggesting that around 6 million jobs disappeared in the last decade. Although that number seems accurate and was provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some economists have suggested that the number isn’t one that can be relied upon.

There are many other industries in the country that are reliant upon manufacturing, but which don’t employ people directly inside the country for such jobs. For example, many major consumer electronics companies have strong connections to the manufacturing industry, but aren’t included in statistics that count overall employment in the United States.

Jobs By The Numbers
Regarding the changes in total employment numbers in manufacturing over the past several years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) counted approximately 14.8 million jobs in January of 2003. Ten years later, the BLS counted 11.9 million jobs in January of 2013.

Over the first half of the last decade, the number of jobs in manufacturing remained mostly constant. By the time the recession was in full swing in 2008, around a million jobs a year were disappearing from company payrolls.

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Significant Gains And Advancing Technology
Different areas of manufacturing have been on a faster trajectory for growth than others, and it’s not surprising to see that significant gains in jobs have been associated with high-tech manufacturing. As far back as the late 1980s, economists were tracking significant gains in the output possible from high-tech manufacturing. Over the decade right before the turn of the millennium, statistics suggest that high-tech manufacturing techniques resulted in gains that were twice as fast as those gained overall within manufacturing.

Article Sources:
http://www.bls.gov
http://www.nam.org
http://data.bls.gov
http://www.washingtonpost.com

Lisa Myers
 

Is a blogger with an interest for all things mechanical. She is a full-time mom with three active boys, who loves encouraging them to explore the world of science and engineering. They spend a lot of time together playing with Legos.

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Sandy Montalbano

The Reshoring Initiative can help.

The not-for-profit Reshoring Initiative’s free Total Cost of Ownership software helps corporations calculate the real P&L impact of reshoring or offshoring. In many cases, companies find that, although the production cost is lower offshore, the total cost is higher, making it a good economic decision to reshore manufacturing back to the U.S. http://www.reshorenow.org/TCO_Estimator.cfm

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