In spite of a general trend towards less manufacturing in the United States, the US manufacturing sector is doing well. Output is increasing, value is on the rise, and some areas in the US are experiencing significant growth in the manufacturing sector.
A Comeback for the US Manufacturing Sector?
It’s no secret; the US manufacturing sector no longer dominates the nation’s economy. In the 1950s, manufacturing accounted for approximately 30% of all US jobs, while today they account for about 8.5%. The crash of 2008 was notoriously damaging to the US manufacturing sector. And many are afraid that countries like China and Mexico are gobbling up all the industrial jobs, leaving Americans high and dry.
But there’s more to the story.
The past couple of years have seen a real turnaround. No, the country isn’t poised to reclaim 1950s figures, yet in many ways, things are looking pretty good for the US manufacturing sector. All things considered, US industrial jobs are gradually increasing, becoming more productive, and offering ever increasing wages.
The US economy has grown for the past 113 consecutive months, and 17 of the 18 major industries are growing, too. Since mid-2016, manufacturing output has been increasing – up 22% since the 2009 low. The US manufacturing sector has rebounded to add 1.2 million jobs since March 2010. Chad Moutray of the National Association of Manufacturers noted that “Activity right now is hitting on all cylinders. Demand is up, production is up, [and there’s] really robust hiring overall.” Many major American producers are experiencing growth:
- Fastenol Co. experienced a net income increase of 42% in the second quarter.
- Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC added 700 employees this year.
- Element Electronics opened a new flat screen television factory in Detroit, reshoring 1,500 manufacturing jobs.
- Ford expanded its Flat Rock, Michigan factory, adding 700 new jobs.
- Apple recently announced their plan to invest $30 billion in capital expenditures in the US over five years, adding 20,000 US jobs.
US Locations Where Manufacturing is Thriving
In spite of the popular image of the rust belt as a manufacturing ghost town and the US as a virtual manufacturing wilderness, things are not that bad. There are places where the US manufacturing sector is clearly in full swing. While the US is experiencing a long-term shift away from a manufacturing economy, some regions are experiencing a return to a strong US manufacturing sector. Some of these include:
- Orlando, FL
Not only home to the world’s most famous mouse, the Orlando metro area is experiencing a surge in manufacturing activity. The region’s manufacturing sector is up nearly a quarter since 2012.
- Phoenix, Arizona
Primarily due to an increase in tech development, the greater metro area surged 5.5% since last year. The number of tech companies in the region has spiked 318% since 2012.
- Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI
Once known as the home of automation, the Warren metro area is enjoying 18.5% industrial job growth since 2012.
- Detroit, MI
Even Detroit is having a comeback. The region cratered after the recession of 2008. But since 2012, manufacturing employment is up 15%.
- Miami, FL
Miami boasts nearly 44,000 industrial jobs and a manufacturing growth rate of 23% since 2012.
- Grand Rapids, MI
The Grand Rapids-Wyoming metro region had a 21% jump in industrial employment since 2012, now hosting approximately 2,500 assorted manufacturing companies.