9 Implausible Facts about US Manufacturing

Margery Murphy by Margery Murphy on March 9, 2016
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2 minute read

We keep hearing that American manufacturing is dead. That it's languishing rather than flourishing. Is this really the truth? No! Despite economic ups and downs, our country has always rallied around manufacturing and successfully supported the sector. It's not dead. 

What are we doing right? Understanding target markets, demand generation and promotion of capabilities leads us from from "lame to fame." Increased exposure and a better understanding produces revenue, and we all know that growth equals job creation. 

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Manufacturers need to rise up and proudly market what you do. This includes:

  • Providing solutions that are amazingly effective
  • Reacting and answering the nation's needs effectively and efficiently
  • Saving your customers money
  • Collaborating
  • Working tirelessly to deliver

We are American manufacturing.

Let's take a closer look at the data, as reported by the National Association of Manufacturers. (Click the Twitter bird to Tweet these stats!)

1. Manufacturers contributed $2.33 trillion to the U.S. economy. This figure has risen since the second quarter of 2009, when manufacturers contributed $1.70 trillion. social-icons-08.png

2. For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.89 is added to the economy. That is the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector. social-icons-08.png

3. The vast majority of manufacturing firms in the United States are quite small. In the most recent data, there were 251,774 firms in the manufacturing sector, with all but 3,813 firms considered to be small. Three-quarters of these firms have fewer than 20 employees. Let’s hear it for the little guys! social-icons-08.png

4. Almost two-thirds of manufacturers are organized as pass-through entities. Looking just at manufacturing corporations and partnerships in the most recent data, 65.6 percent are either S-corporations or partnerships. The remainder are C-corporations. Note that this does not include sole proprietorships. If they were included, the percentage of pass-through entities rises to 83.4 percent. social-icons-08.png

5. In 2017, the average manufacturing worker in the United States earned $84,832 annually, including pay and benefits. The average worker in all industries earned $66,847. social-icons-08.png

6. Manufacturing supports an estimated 12.75 million jobs in the United States, about one in six private-sector jobs. Manufacturers have experienced tremendous growth over the past few decades, making them more “lean” and helping them become more competitive globally. social-icons-08.png

7. Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2 million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap. Moreover, according to a recent report, 80 percent of manufacturers report a moderate or serious shortage of qualified applicants for skilled and highly skilled production positions. social-icons-08.png

8. Over the past 25 years, U.S.-manufactured goods exports more than quadrupled. In 1990, for example, manufacturers in the United States exported $329.5 billion in goods. By 2000, that number had more than doubled to $708.0 billion. With that said, a number of economic headwinds has dampened export demand since then, with U.S.-manufactured goods exports down 6.1 percent in 2015 to $1.317 trillion. social-icons-08.png

9.Taken alone, manufacturing in the United States would be the ninth-largest economy in the world. With $2.1 trillion in value added from manufacturing in 2014, only eight other nations (including the United States) would rank higher in terms of their GDP. social-icons-08.png

As you can see, American manufacturing is far from dead. 

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Topics: Manufacturing

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