Manufacturing Employment: Fact and Fiction

Brief

Manufacturing Employment: Fact and Fiction

April 13, 2018

Abstract

Despite employing only 11 percent of all workers and 15 percent of male workers today, manufacturing industries are at the center of most discussions of how to grow the US economy. This brief, the first in a series on manufacturing’s role in the US economy, shows the evolution of manufacturing employment and earnings across industrial clusters and which US regions have been impacted the most by these shifts. I find that, although the US manufacturing sector is strong and responsible for about 12 percent of our output, its employment shares are declining, and it cannot fuel economic recovery.

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