Newsletter Masthead
February 2012

The Comeback of American Manufacturing by 2015

American Manufacturing has been leading the country out of the recession.  Now every political leader is talking about the importance of the resurgence of American Manufacturing.  But is the global environment already creating the circumstances for a resurgence in American Manufacturing?  The answer is a resounding YES!!!!


In the Boston Consulting Group report, Why Manufacturing Will Return to the US (Aug 2011), they concluded that “around 2015 for many goods destined for North American consumers – manufacturing in some parts of the U.S. will be just as economical as manufacturing in China.”


Here are the facts:




United States (US)


China’s wages rose 150% from 1999 – 2006, and 19% per year from 2006-2010


US worker’s fully loaded costs rose only 4% per year



Manufacturing output per worker in China has improved by 10% a year over the last decade. 


Maintaining that growth over the next few years, China’s productivity would reach 40% of U.S. productivity by 2015: not enough to compensate for rising wages


Transpacific shipping rates are going up




There’s been a steady appreciation of the Chinese renminbi against the U.S. dollar



Supply Chain Threats

Costs of relying on extended supply chains:   quality control problems, the threat of supply disruptions, trades disputes, IP theft…




This is part of the balancing equation I reference in my book – The Consumer’s Workshop: The Future of American Manufacturing.  Manufacturing will undergo a balancing equation settling on the optimal location between raw materials and customers.


The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has developed The Charter for Revitalizing American Manufacturing built on four T's: technology, taxes, trade and talent.

  • Technology is the key determinant of progress in today's world. We have a strong lead in R&D, but our competitors are chipping away at that lead, and our investment in R&D is declining.
  • Our corporate tax system needs to be overhauled to reward long term investments in manufacturing and exports.
  • Talent/Workforce needs to be trained to work in modern high-tech manufacturing.

But although some manufacturing may return to the United States, some of the jobs won’t be returning due to automation.  Although 404,000 manufacturing jobs have been added since January 2010, there still are 5.5 million fewer manufacturing jobs than in July 2000 – and 12 million fewer than in 1990. The long-term trend is fewer and fewer factory jobs…but a more productive manufacturing sector within the United States.



Ben Moore

Agent Technologies, Inc.


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The Consumer's Workshop: the future of American manufacturing
The Consumer's Workshop: The Future of American Manufacturing is a hand book on how to setup the systems within your company and create the workforce you need to be successful now and in the future.  Written by authors that have worked at some of America's largest manufacturers, founded their own manufacturing organizations and helped numerous small manufacturers grow.
The Consumer's Workshop: The Future of American Manufacturing is a must read for today's business leaders.  It is insightful and provocative in its approach to where US manufacturing has been, how manufacturing got into the troubles it faces today and what we need to do to become the standard for world class once again.  If we want to know how to regain that competitive edge once again, the roadmap is certainly the pages of The Consumer Workshop.

-- Bruce Vaillancourt,Director, NIST MEP Program, TechSolve, Inc.

Book The Consumer's Workshop is an extremely timely review of how manufacturing strategy developed in the past
and how it will change in the future. The author team clearly demonstrates that companies have to change -- and provide plenty of advise how such a change should take place."
-- Frank Piller, PhD, International Manufacturing Consultant

As the authors make clear, eventually American manufacturing will become the workshop for direct production of consumer's own designs -- or it will be no more. Begin that path by following the steps outlined here."
-- B. Joseph Pine II, author, Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition

Investment: $12.99





In This Issue

The Comeback of American Manufacturing by 2015

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Manufacturing Statistics January 2012


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Manufacturing Statistics 
1) Industrial production in January 2012 was unchanged from December 2011.  Manufacturing production increased 0.7% in January 2012. Source: Federal Reserve Board
2) Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 243,000 in January 2012.  Manufacturing employment increased by 50,000. Unemployment rate decreased to 8.3% nationally. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
3) Manufacturing Trade Deficit increased to $47.1 billion in December 2011 on exports of $178.8 billion and imports of $227.6 billion.  Sources: Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis
4) New orders for durable manufactured goods in December increased $6.2 billion or 3.0 percent to $214.5 billion.  Source: Census Bureau
5) Inventories of manufactured durable goods in October increased $1.2 billion or 0.3 percent to $370.1 billion.  Source: Census Bureau

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