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[IWS] CRS: JOB CREATION IN THE MANUFACTURING REVIVAL [19 June 2013]

IWS Documented News Service

_______________________________

Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

________________________________________________________________________

 

Congressional Research Service (CRS)

 

Job Creation in the Manufacturing Revival

Marc Levinson, Section Research Manager

June 19, 2013

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41898.pdf

[full-text, 17 pages]

 

Summary

The health of the U.S. manufacturing sector is of intense interest to Congress. Numerous bills

aimed at promoting manufacturing have been introduced in Congress, often with the stated goal

of creating jobs. Implicit in many of these bills is the assumption that the manufacturing sector is

uniquely able to provide well-paid employment for workers who have not pursued advanced

education.

 

U.S. manufacturing output has risen significantly over the past four years as the economy has

recovered from recession. This upswing in manufacturing activity, however, has resulted in

negligible employment growth. Although a variety of forces seem likely to support further growth

in domestic manufacturing output over the next few years, including higher labor costs in the

emerging economies of Asia, higher international freight transportation costs, and increased

concern about disruptions to transoceanic supply chains, evidence suggests that such a resurgence

would lead to relatively small job gains within the manufacturing sector.

 

The past few years have seen important changes in the nature of manufacturing work. A steadily

smaller proportion of manufacturing workers is involved in physical production processes, while

larger shares are engaged in managerial and professional work. These changes are reflected in

increasing skill requirements for manufacturing workers and severely diminished opportunities

for workers without education beyond high school. Even if increased manufacturing output leads

to additional employment in the manufacturing sector, it is likely to generate little of the routine

production work historically performed by workers with low education levels.

 

As manufacturing processes have changed, factories with large numbers of workers have become

much less common than they once were. This suggests that promotion of manufacturing as a tool

to stimulate local economies is likely to meet with limited success; even if newly established

factories prosper, few are likely to require large amounts of labor.

 

Contents

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1

Employment in the Manufacturing Sector ....................................................................................... 1

The Changing Character of Manufacturing Work ........................................................................... 4

The Disappearance of the Large Factory ......................................................................................... 8

Start-Ups and Shutdowns ............................................................................................................... 10

Selected Policy Issues for Congress .............................................................................................. 12

 

Figures

Figure 1. Manufacturing Output and Employment .......................................................................... 2

Figure 2. Growth in Manufacturing Since Cyclical Trough ............................................................ 2

Figure 3. Manufacturing Employment by Occupation .................................................................... 5

Figure 4. Manufacturing Employment by Worker Education .......................................................... 7

Figure 5. Manufacturing Employment by Gender ........................................................................... 8

Figure 6. Jobs Created by Establishment Openings ....................................................................... 11

Figure 7. Jobs Lost Due to Establishment Closings ...................................................................... 11

 

Tables

Table 1. Manufacturing Employment by Industry, 2001-2012 ........................................................ 4

Table 2. The Size Distribution of Factories ..................................................................................... 9

Table 3. Factories with More Than 1,000 Workers by Industry ...................................................... 9

Table 4. Manufacturing Employment by Establishment Size ........................................................ 10

 

Contacts

Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 14

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

 




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