It’s no secret that American manufacturing bled jobs during the Great Recession. During 26 trying months, from December 2007 to February 2010, manufacturing’s misfortune accounted for half the decline in U.S. GDP. Now that that the nation is experiencing a manufacturing revival, does the patient deserve a clean bill of health?
Some vital signs are improving. For example, from February 2010 to May 2014, the manufacturing sector added 646,000 jobs. That wasn’t the only good news for hourly employees. During this same period, the average length of their work week climbed from 39.3 to 42.1 hours. While earning regular paychecks and overtime pay, American manufacturing workers boosted total output and added-value production.