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Manufacturing America

The United States manufacturing industry is the second largest in the entire world, just behind China. Over the past year, 327,000 new jobs have been created. This represents the best 12-month increase for the industry over the last 23 years. In December 2016 US manufacturing employed 12.35 million people and in December 2017 US manufacturing employed 12.56 million people, an increase of 1.7%. Although this increase seems small, its a great sign for American Manufacturing.

The US Industrial production index peaked in December 2007, dropping nearly 15% by the summer of 2009. Taking five years to recover to a second peak in 2015. After the world economy dipped in 2015 and 2016 so did the US industrial production. Although US manufacturing has fluctuated throughout history, its important to notice that the total US industrial production is more than twice it was in 1979 (when employment peaked). This likely reflects an economy-wide investment in machinery, a more educated workforce and a rebirth in technology and big data that helps companies to improve performance in a variety of tasks.

"Since about 2000, manufacturing jobs held by non-college graduates have declined by almost 45 percent, while manufacturing jobs held by those with a college degree are up almost 17 percent. That means in net, all the new jobs and almost all the replacement jobs in manufacturing are going to college graduates. That trend also accelerated during the Great Recession." - M. Hicks

Although manufacturing has reached record levels, there is no denying the fact that the workers in the industry have undergone extreme change. The change from workers without a college education to workers who are college graduates with a technical degree is drastic.


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