Written by: Steve Melito
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.
Still, that’s not the whole story. As SSTI explains in a recent blog entry, America’s appetite for imports continues to grow. The result, the author explains, is that “over the past four years there has been a 50 percent increase in the trade deficit.” Then there’s another matter of geography and economics. Much of the growth in manufacturing has occurred in just a handful of states.
This challenge of balanced growth also extends to market segments. As SSTI reports, “87 percent of the jobs gained have been in the transportation equipment, fabricated metal products, and machinery industries”. Given these statistics, do New York State manufacturers need to account for what some observers would call “unbalanced growth”?
See Original Story: Manufacturing Back on the Rise, According to Commerce Department
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