The Industrial Revolution Continues Apace, Just Without Workers This Time Around
Where have all the good manufacturing jobs in the U.S. gone? Into better production technology:
The United States makes more manufactured goods today than at any time in history, as measured by the dollar value of production adjusted for inflation—three times as much as in the mid-1950s, the supposed heyday of American industry. Between 1977 and 2005, the value of American manufacturing swelled from $1.3 trillion to an all-time record $4.5 trillion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
With less than 5 percent of the world's population, the United States is responsible for almost one-fourth of global manufacturing, a share that has changed little in decades. The United States is the largest manufacturing economy by far. Japan, the only serious rival for that title, has been losing ground. China has been growing but represents only about one-tenth of world manufacturing.
And here's a good development (at least for those of us who have ever worked on an assembly line):
While American manufacturing is not declining, manufacturing employment has been shrinking dramatically. After peaking in 1979 at 19 million workers, the American manufacturing workforce has since dropped to 14 million, the lowest number since 1950.
More here, via the Wash Post.
Hat Tip: Film critic extraordinaire Alan Vanneman.