Manufacturing: A brief global look
April 9, 2011
Manufacturing is a key component of any country’s economy and many comparisons have been made between the United States (U.S.) and other countries. Since World War II the U.S. has been the leader of the manufacturing sector due mainly to the fact that the U.S. industrial plants were not devastated by the destruction of war as where most of Europe and Asia. This paper is a team effort and will give a brief look at the state of manufacturing and some of the incentives each government has used to entice the growth of manufacturing within their respective countries. The countries to be examined are the United States, China, ...view middle of the document...
•In 2009, the average U.S. manufacturing worker earned $74,447 annually, including pay and benefits. The average non-manufacturing worker earned $63,507 annually.
•U.S. manufacturers are the most productive workers in the world—twice as productive as workers in the next 10 leading manufacturing economies.
•U.S. manufacturers perform half of all R&D in the nation, driving more innovation than any other sector.
• Taken alone, U.S. Manufacturing would be the 8th largest economy in the world.
According to Marc Chandler of the Foreign Exchange daily, much has been made of the declining state of U.S. manufacturing in recent years, which makes sense when you look at the remarkable drop-off in employment. Manufacturing is far from dead, according to fivethirtyeight.com.The political site points out that productivity in the sector has increased in the last 15 years and the decline in manufacturing jobs has more to do with low education levels than imports/outsourcing.
Going back to the recent post on employment remember that in this recession the unemployment rate of specific groups was heavily influenced by education level. In fact, according to the BLS, higher education levels (college graduates and above) were remarkably untouched in the latest recession while lower education levels (high school graduates, high school with some secondary education) had higher rates of unemployment. Lower levels of education are typically associated with manufacturing and construction employment — the two areas of jobs that account for the largest percentage of job losses in this recession.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times writes that U.S. manufacturing is still facing a shortage of skilled workers — despite the widespread shedding of jobs. Nearly 20 percent of the nation’s manufacturing workforce is 54 and older.
“All large technical firms are facing similar issues, where a large part of the population is eligible to retire,” said Rick Stephens, senior vice-president of human resources at Boeing. He said that by 2015, 40 per cent of the aircraft maker’s workers would be in that position. “That’s some 60,000 employees eligible to retire in five years. We just don’t see the recruitment pipeline meeting our needs.” A look at EMSI’s Career Pathways tool to see the top skills needed in two key manufacturing occupations in the advanced materials industry cluster — machinists and first-line managers of production and operating workers. Nationwide, there were more than 153,000 machinists and 159,000 first-line managers in the cluster in 2009, according to EMSI’s latest dataset.
The United States has been hollowed out. It no longer manufactures goods. Once the factory of the world, the U.S. now manufactures debt. The high wage manufacturing jobs have been out-sourced to low wage economies. The demise of U.S. manufacturing is at the core of the decline of America, its chronic trade deficits and growing international indebtedness. It makes the world’s...