The Loss Of Manufacturing In The United States

The following excerpt is from the Global Economics section of Bloomberg BusinessWeek, May 10-May 16 2010:

“Industrial America’s plight can be encapsulated in a few incredible numbers.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. employment in manufacturing over the past six months has been the lowest since March 1941, before the U.S. entered World War II.  The March total was a little under 11.6 million workers, down 19 percent in just the past five years.  Productivity advances account for some job reductions, but that’s not the whole story:  Manufacturing’s share of GDP shrank from 25 percent in the 1960s to 15 percent in 2000 and just 11 percent in 2008, according to data from the Commerce Dept.’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.”


I believe that our loss of manufacturing, and manufacturing jobs, represents one of the largest errors in our economic strategy.

Perhaps most disconcerting has been our national attitude toward the loss of this manufacturing.  It perhaps can best be summarized in the commonly heard phrase “we don’t need manufacturing in order to be successful.”

While the underlying reasons for this manufacturing loss are complex, and some would argue unavoidable, it nonetheless has created many substantial, enduring problems.

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SPX at 1166.11 as this post is written