Depending upon when you read the headlines and which headlines you read, American manufacturing is either on the up and up—fostered by lower energy and labor costs, high worker productivity, and an emphasis on automation, innovation and technology—or it’s falling far short of expectations and will likely never return to its former prosperity.
While some sectors have recovered faster than others, manufacturing in America, on the whole, has had it’s high points, low points with intermittent periods of stagnation since the Great Recession.
A new analysis, however, shows that there are good and stable reasons to feel positive about the the state of American manufacturing, especially when you measure it against other major manufacturing nations across the globe.
High Output, Low Risk
According to a new analysis of 30 countries, the United States is in the process of regaining it’s competitive edge when it comes to manufacturing. The study, “Manufacturing in North America” comes from real estate services firm, Cushman & Wakefield.
Its parameters were primarily based on manufacturing output and operation risk defined according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
The United States came in 4th, just behind China and ahead of North American neighbors, Canada, which came in at 6th, and Mexico, which ranked 14th.
Restoring Our Recognition
Though the number one spot—currently held by Malaysia—would be something celebrate, America’s current ranking is significant. In addition to a jump of five rankings from 2014 to 2015, it’s now one of just three non APAC (Asia-Pacific) manufacturing nations to rank within the top ten.
It also shows that the U.S. has reached a level of productivity, product quality, and economy in manufacturing that restored its recognition as low risk, low cost, high benefit place to do business as a manufacturer.
Reshoring efforts are said to have contributed to this, but fast production of more customized products have also contributed to the U.S.’s notable and increasingly competitive manufacturing ability.
Good News At Home?
What does that really mean domestically? It’s important to keep in mind that manufacturing is less of a major contributor to the nation’s over all property than it has been in the past. It’s also worth nothing that manufacturing companies within the U.S. are still widespread, but the Southeast and Midwest are currently where you’ll find the bulk of manufacturing jobs.
And finally, there are a number of challenges that could compromise manufacturing growth and competitiveness if we don’t maintain out ability to address and overcome them, including the costs of regulatory compliance, stagnant worker wages, and our problematic skills gap.
Even with such concerns, does this analysis make you feel optimistic about the state of manufacturing in America and its place among global competitors? Tell us what you think in the comments.