Mixed Opinions on the Current Direction of the US Manufacturing Sector

A recent article for the Supply Chain Digest offers a snapshot of the current US manufacturing and distribution sector. While nobody will dispute that the sector has lost millions of jobs since its peak in 1979, opinions are mixed, says the author, when it comes to the current direction, and scale of development, of the industry.

The article cites some promising statistics in the US manufacturing and distribution sector, as of March 2017:

  • The number of job openings rose to 394,000 (matching the highest level since April 2006)
  • Actual hiring rose to 322,000
  • Monthly hires were up 25% (versus March 2016)
  • More than 922,000 hires were made during the first quarter of 2017 (versus 828,000 over the same period in 2016)

At the 1979 manufacturing and distribution peak, there were nearly 20 million employees in the industry; that number fell to a low of 11.4 million in early 2010; surveys put the current number at 12.4 million US manufacturing and distribution employees. The author tentatively concludes that US manufacturing and distribution may slowly but surely be bouncing back from the Great Recession.

According to a recent survey from Deloitte, the US public strongly supports the importance of the manufacturing and distribution sector, writes the author, citing numerous statistical examples. “Deloitte says that the demand for high-skilled manufacturing and distribution positions is expected to soar over the next decade…as the industry evolves and baby boomers continue to retire.”

To read the article in full, visit Supply Chain Digest.