Although manufacturing has become a smaller share of the nation’s economy over time, it remains a crucial engine of job creation and economic growth. Rather than outsourcing, companies are increasingly choosing to invest and create jobs in the United States.
While companies across industries are bringing jobs back, this trend is particularly important in manufacturing and, consequently, for their distributors.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury publishes an informative blog, Treasury Notes, which recently included a great infographic by Jenni LeCompte titled A Few Facts About Manufacturing, containing good news for distributors. Did you know that…
- Manufacturing has made up 37% of the total economic growth since 2009
- 485,000 jobs were added in manufacturing since February 2010
- Manufacturing is responsible for 9% of employment, 12% of Gross Domestic Product, 60% of Exports and 69% of Private R&D Spending
Also this week, the Brookings Institute released a comprehensive analysis of the metropolitan geography of US manufacturing. The report, Locating American Manufacturing: Trends in the Geography of Production, has some lessons on what we can glean for a more robust future.
The report contains several interesting findings:
- Insourcing is popular again.
- Most manufacturing plants are smaller than you think. In fact, the average metropolitan manufacturing plant has only 57.4 employees.
- Geographic clustering of companies in the same industry or related industries - along with the educational, R&D, business, and labor institutions that support them - provides many advantages. These geographic benefits are not simply natural advantages but also advantages created by public policy.
In fact, organizations like NorTech, a regional non-profit economic development organization serving as a catalyst for growing Northeast Ohio's emerging technology industries, is a prime example of the benefits of this trend. Led by Chairman (and Tribute president) Tim Reynolds, NorTech is leading efforts to develop regional innovation clusters that create jobs, attract capital and have a long-term, positive economic impact in the technology and manufacturing sector in northeast Ohio, including the anticipated shale gas boom.