Manufacturing Employment in the U.S.

Here’s an interesting data series we thought you might find enlightening.

Note the peak in manufacturing jobs in June 1977,  which represented 22 percent of all nonfarm payrolls,  then, to fall to less than 9 percent of total employment today.   It’s too earlier to claim victory with the current recovery in the manufacturing sector, but it is the the first positive slope since mid-1990’s.

There are many reasons for the secular decline,  including:  1) the strengthening of the dollar during the 1980’s;  2) globalization;  3) entry of China and India into the global labor force; 4) the internet;  4) productivity;  5) technological innovation;  6) demographics and worker preferences; and 7)  all of the above.

We’ll leave it to the academics to debate it and the politicians to place blame or take credit.

Click on chart to and for better resolution.

(click here if chart is not observable)

This entry was posted in Employment, Manufacturing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Manufacturing Employment in the U.S.

  1. Larry W says:

    It would be interesting to see the total number of manufacturing jobs world-wide over the same period. With the productivity that computer technology has brought to the world, it is possible that the total number of people working in manufacturing has declined – certainly on a per capita basis.

  2. Nandi Qubeka says:

    Is there a similar chart for other sectors ie. financial services, trade etc? It would be interesting to see which sectors have benefited at the expense of manufacturing jobs over the same time period. If there is a recovery in manufacturing (jobs) which sector will suffer (has reach saturation in terms of jobs).

  3. Pingback: From Industrial to Knowledge: The Shift to Immateriality | Valid Issues No Tissues

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