U.S. manufacturing production grew 11 percent since the dot.com bust (2000-03) and the ensuing economic turbulence of the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions, according to Manufacturing and Logistics: A Generation of Volatility & Growth, released by the Ball State Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) and Conexus Indiana.
“According to folklore, this has been a terrible generation for manufacturing and those who move goods,” said CBER director Michael Hicks, George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Economics and Business Research. “That isn’t really what the data says. Indeed, 2015 was a record manufacturing production year in inflation-adjusted dollars. While 2016 fell just short with some weakness in the first and second quarter, 2017 looks to be a new record year.”
“Most of the confusion about manufacturing and logistics is due to declining employment over the past generation,” Hicks said. “The fact is, manufacturing firms have become very lean, and productivity growth means more goods produced with fewer workers.”
Three factors contribute to a decline in employment: the workforce is better educated and trained, increasing productivity; mechanization has displaced some workers; and improved processes, such Lean Six Sigma and other management methods, have increased manufacturing production, according to the study’s authors.
Since peak manufacturing employment in 1979, the United States has lost approximately 7.5 million manufacturing jobs but gained more than 9 million jobs in trade, transportation and utilities, the broadest measure of the logistics industry. “Trade and productivity growth shifts job opportunities to other places and other sectors even as employment grows,” Hicks said. “We are at peak U.S. employment right now.”
About TR Cutler, Inc.
TR Cutler, Inc. was founded seventeen years ago by Thomas R. Cutler. Cutler is the President and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based, TR Cutler, Inc., (www.trcutlerinc.com), the largest manufacturing communication firm worldwide with four dozen industry experts and thought leaders on staff. Cutler maintains extraordinary relationships with clients, journalists, editors, economists, trendsetters, and key business leaders worldwide and has become a key resource for those writing about the manufacturing sector. Cutler founded the Manufacturing Media Consortium in 1999, which now has more than 6,000 global members including journalists, editors, publishers, and economists, worldwide writing about trends, industrial data, manufacturing case studies, material handling profiles, and robotics feature articles. Cutler works with thousands of media outlets to expand the coverage and importance of the manufacturing media coverage.
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