U.S. Manufacturing Still Holds a Wide Lead over China
Jeffrey Porter, RockySoft
March 4th, 2011
Many people are saying that everything is made in China these days, but the opposite is actually true. China’s manufacturing is booming, but the value of what its factories produce is far behind that of the U.S., according to economic data from the U.N. The U.S. produced $2.15 trillion worth of manufactured goods in 2009, 46% more than China’s $1.48 trillion, the U.N. said. America’s share of world manufacturing was 20% in 2009, compared with 21% in 1990.
Many Americans fear that the Chinese has the lead because fewer Americans work in factories. Millions of industrial jobs have vanished in recent decades, and there is no denying the hardship and stress that has meant for many families. But factory employment has declined because factory productivity has so dramatically skyrocketed: Revolutions in technology enable an American worker today to produce far more than his counterpart did a generation ago. Consequently, even as Americas manufacturing sector out-produces every other country on earth, millions of young Americans can aspire to become not factory hands or assembly workers, but doctors and lawyers, architects and engineers.
Perceptions also feed the gloom and doom. In its story on Americans economic anxiety, National Journal quotes a Florida teacher who says, It seems like everything I pick up says Made in China on it. To someone shopping for toys, shoes, or sporting equipment, it often can seem that way. But thats because Chinese factories tend to specialize in low-tech, labor-intensive goods items that typically dont require the more advanced and sophisticated manufacturing capabilities of modern American plants.
A vast amount of stuff is still made in the USA, albeit not the inexpensive consumer goods that fill the shelves in Target or Walgreens. American factories make fighter jets and air conditioners, automobiles and pharmaceuticals, industrial lathes and semiconductors. Not the sort of things on your weekly shopping list? Maybe not. But that doesnt change economic reality; that Americas manufacturing glory is far from a thing of the past.
By Jeffrey Porter with RockySoft, Microsoft Dynamics software provider for demand planning
U.S. Manufacturing Still Holds a Wide Lead over China is a post from: Distribution Software Blog
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