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Transportation Equipment

We next consider job losses in transportation equipment manufacturing (NAICS 336).  Here we find products in the motor vehicle, aerospace, railroad, shipping, and other transportation categories.  Product categories include:

  • Motor vehicles, including automobiles, light duty trucks and utility vehicles, heavy duty trucks and trailers, buses, firefighting vehicles, motor homes, travel trailers, and campers, and motor vehicle components including bodies, gasoline engines and parts, electrical and electronic equipment, steering and suspension components, brake systems, transmissions and drive trains, seating and interior trim, metal stampings, air-conditioning systems, exhaust systems, filters, and wheels;
  • Civilian and military aircraft, engines, and parts and guided missiles and space vehicles; railroad locomotives and freight and passenger cars and trolley, subway and rapid transit cars;
  • Civilian and military ships, barges and platforms; motorboats and sailboats; motorcycles, bicycles, and parts; military armored vehicles and tanks; and all-terrain vehicles and golf carts. 

Manufacturing facilities in this large and important subsector, which employed 2,134,875 workers at the beginning of 1990, employed an average 1,562,467 in 2014.  The following figure and table illustrate those job losses

After a dip following the 1990-91 recession, we see a substantial recovery through the economic expansion of the 1990s, to over 2 million jobs in 1997-2000.  Following is a rapid fall-off beginning after 2000, coincident with the 2001 recession and the granting of permanent most favored nation status and WTO membership to China.  After leveling off from 2003 through 2007, job losses accelerate again through the Great Recession, bottoming out at about 1.3 million jobs in 2010.  From 1990 through 2010, the subsector shed four of every then jobs.  Since the low of 2010, employment has seen a recovery of some 230,000 (29%) of the 802,000 lost jobs, to an average of 1,562,467 jobs in 2014.

Key Finding:

Between 1990 and 2014, after experiencing a partial recovery in 2010-2014, the transportation manufacturing subsector[i] saw a 29% decline in employment, shedding 572,408 jobs. 

GO TO Group 8.


[i] Industries in the Transportation Equipment Manufacturing subsector produce equipment for transporting people and goods. Transportation equipment is a type of machinery. An entire subsector is devoted to this activity because of the significance of its economic size in all three North American countries.  Establishments in this subsector utilize production processes similar to those of other machinery manufacturing establishments - bending, forming, welding, machining, and assembling metal or plastic parts into components and finished products. However, the assembly of components and subassemblies and their further assembly into finished vehicles tends to be a more common production process in this subsector than in the Machinery Manufacturing subsector.  The transportation equipment manufacturing subsector consists of these industry groups:  Motor Vehicle Manufacturing (NAICS 3361), Motor Vehicle Body and Trailer Manufacturing (NAICS 3362), Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing (NAICS 3363), Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing (NAICS 3364), Railroad Rolling Stock Manufacturing (NAICS 3365), Ship and Boat Building (NAICS 3366), and Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing (NAICS 3369).  [North American Industry Classification System, published at]

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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