A new survey conducted by Leading2Lean has revealed how Americans perceive the country’s manufacturing industry. According to the survey, 70% of Americans think the industry is declining, and slightly more than half of Americans believe manufacturing companies are cutting jobs. And while these findings suggest a not-so-optimistic view of the American manufacturing industry, it’s actually doing better than ever.
In March 2017, the American manufacturing industry had 12.4 million jobs, making it one of the country’s largest sectors for employment. During this same period, the industry produced a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $2.2 trillion. Furthermore, Leading2Lean projects that the American manufacturing industry will create an additional 3.5 million new jobs within the next 10 years, almost half of which will go unfilled.
Based on these findings, it’s safe to say that American manufacturing industry is growing faster than what many people believe. The survey found that fewer than one-third of Americans believe the industry is growing. But when you look at the actual data, the results are clear: the American manufacturing sector is growing at a fast rate, and it’s expected to grow even faster in the years to follow.
When speaking about the new survey, Leading2Lean’s Keith Barr explained that the American manufacturing industry has evolved, and unfortunately the American workforce is largely unaware of these recent changes. While manufacturing has always been a vital sector of the country’s economy, it’s evolved in recent years by introducing new technologies and systems. So, even though the public’s general perception of the industry is somewhat bleak, American manufacturing is strong and continues to grow larger with each passing month.
“We haven’t done a good enough job explaining to our potential workforce that manufacturing has evolved,” said Leading2Lean CEO Keith Barr. “Today’s manufacturing jobs are dynamic, require the ability to work with technology, and the ability to problem-solve complex issues. Systems have even started making use of gamification concepts, which are increasing motivation and engendering positive behaviors, in particular for Millennials and Generation Z workers. And most importantly, these are high-wage jobs.”
A separate survey conducted by Thomas found that 61% of Americans prefer made-in-America products over foreign-manufactured products. As the demand for made-in-American products increases, it will likely have a ripple effect that fosters future growth and expansion of the American manufacturing industry.
It’s a common misconception that the American manufacturing industry is declining. In reality, though, it’s evolving while growing larger and more significant in the process.