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How to Measure New York’s Manufacturing Revival

Written by: Steve Melito

NYS Manufacturing Revival
Manzella Report

If you could build a time machine, would you want to travel back to 1979 or 1953? For manufacturers who survived the 1970s, the last year of that difficult decade was when the total number of U.S manufacturing jobs peaked at 20 million. For industries that thrived during the “Happy Days” of the 1950s, the year 1953 was when the highest percentage of Americans (28%) worked in factories.
Today, plenty of pundits and economists are extolling America’s manufacturing revival. Reshoring is hot, and stories about Made in USA manufacturing are promising. As author Daniel Ikenson notes, however, the term “revival” implies that there was a decline. Yes, it’s true that modern-day manufacturing isn’t matching the metrics of 1979 or 1953. But did those numbers mean all that much to begin with?
For Ikenson, our manufacturing revival isn’t just about employment. Instead, it’s also about continued growth in value-added output, capital and foreign investment, revenues, and productivity. Rising research and development (R&D) expenditures count, too. Those numbers are cold comfort for the unemployed, however, and they raise some important questions for manufacturers in New York and across the nation.
What is the best way to measure the state of New York’s manufacturing renaissance? In other words, which metrics matter most? Although some may long for 1979 or 1953, U.S. manufacturing has grown much more efficient since then, especially in terms of annual value-added dollars per worker.
Read Original Story: Is the Revival of U.S. Manufacturing Real?
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