Made in America Again AWARE
Made in America AgainAWARE

Direct Results: Manufacturing Job Losses

Looking at the persistent and growing excess of imported goods over exports, one must suspect, hasn’t this caused a loss of manufacturing jobs? Let’s have a look.

From the first post-war year of 1946 through 1979, the number of people employed in manufacturing in the United States rose by 43.7 percent, from 13.5 million to 19.4 million. [See following figure and table.]

From then on, it has been all downhill: In a span of 35 years, manufacturing employment in the United States dropped from a peak of 19.4 million in 1979, to 12.2 million in 2014. That is a decline of 7.2 million, some 37.3% -- nearly four of every ten manufacturing jobs disappeared. [See following figure and the table below.]



But it is really worse than that, because during those 35 years, the U.S. working age population was growing by some 50%, from 164.9 million to 247.3 million.  [See following figure and table below.]

So, the decline of manufacturing employment as a percentage of the population was even worse, falling from 11.8% of the population to 4.9%.  [See following figure and the table above.]



That is a 58.5% decline in the proportion of the working age population that was employed in manufacturing – a loss of almost six out of every ten jobs that would have been filled if manufacturing had kept pace with population growth.

Looked at in terms of numbers of potential jobs lost, if the 2014 working age population of 247.3 million were employed in manufacturing at the 1979 rate of 11.8 percent, then there would have been 29.14 million employed. However, only 12.19 million were employed in manufacturing, a shortfall of nearly 17 million jobs.

We will review these manufacturing lob losses industry by industry.  But first, we must consider, where did all of these jobs go?

GO TO Where did the jobs go?

News and Events

May 15, 2014, Ontario, CA - MIAA's founder, Jim Stuber, delivered the keynote address at the 20th annual World Trade Conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the California Inland Empire District Export Council in Ontario, California.  To view the conference agenda, click here:

New file download

May 7, 2015, Radnor, PA.  MIAA's founder, Jim Stuber, appeared as the guest of host Richard J. Anthony, Sr. on The Entrepreneur's Network TV at Radnor Studio 21.  The program featured a discussion of the problems caused by offshoring manufacturing and white collar jobs and how consmers can solve the problem with their spending decisions. 

Studio 21 has made the program available for viewing here:

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