Manufacturing Hiring Skyrockets as Economy Shifts into Overdrive

The headlines are everywhere and simply cannot be ignored.

Reuters reports that “U.S. private employment growth eases but manufacturing shines: ADP.”

The Wall Street Journal says that “Manufacturing industry has strongest job increase in three years.”

And these are only a few of them. Everywhere you look–online or in print–you are sure to find major media outlets praising the manufacturing industry for creating jobs in towns and cities across the country.

Yes, the jobs are out there–and many appear to be in manufacturing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing jobs are growing at an impressive rate.

In March 2018, manufacturing employment went up by 22,000 jobs.

That’s real opportunity, pay checks and hope for thousands of families across the country. They are jobs that have been created in small towns, suburban communities and big cities. And they are part of a national trend.

Sustained growth

Almost two years ago, the country was in a state of flux.

It was on the cusp of bouncing back from the Great Recession, which began right around 2008 and left companies, employees and homeowners reeling. Experts told the American public that the economy was recovering, but no one really new for sure what was going to happen.

And then it did.

Manufacturing companies across the country stopped outsourcing jobs to overseas companies. They began firing up production at domestic shops and hiring local talent to produce goods that the country relies on for everything from transportation to health care to construction.

And the jobs began to come back.

Since then, the economy has added an impressive 263,000 manufacturing jobs–serving industries ranging from home appliances to electronics to automotive.

And that’s a good thing.

The economic engine

Many people don’t recognize the important role manufacturing jobs play in the U.S. economy, mostly because the hard-working women and men who punch the clock every day and spend eight hours putting together the products don’t make headlines.

Media outlets would much rather focus on doctors, lawyers and social media wizards than those who work in manufacturing.

And that’s entirely too bad.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the manufacturing industry contributes an insane amount of money to the American economy each year.

In 2016 alone, the industry added $2.18 trillion (yes, trillion) to the U.S. economy. In addition, the women and men who work in manufacturing account for almost 12.5 million jobs, which is about 8.5 percent of the American workforce.

That’s impressive and important. And it should not be overlooked by people looking for career opportunities. Nor should it be overlooked by politicians and others who are responsible for ensuring that the country’s economy keeps humming along.

Manufacturing has proven to be a good investment.

What’s driving the growth?

The truth is, U.S. manufacturing has been on the upswing for years. After the Great Recession decimated the country’s economy, the industry looked to be on its knees.

It didn’t help that hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused a significant increase in raw material cost, sending domestic companies overseas in search of savings.

Many wrote off U.S. manufacturing at this point, saying it could never recover. But the industry was able to weather the storm–and it came back stronger than ever.

The growth in U.S. manufacturing can be attributed to three main factors, according to a recent story in Manufacturing.

First, the United States has proved to be a worldwide leader in innovation. Technology has proven to be a game-changer, allowing industries ranging from transportation (automotive, rail, aerospace) to imagine, invent and manufacture new products.

Second, automation–which was long believed to be the death knell for manufacturing jobs–has actually created jobs for highly trained, highly skilled manufacturing employees. Companies are looking to automate, but they are also looking for manufacturing employees to oversee the CAD work, tooling, dying and quality control of the robotic machinery that will become commonplace in plants across the country.

Finally, the industry has learned that there is simply no replacement for skilled labor. From running a manufacturing plant to working the line, people who have exceptional skills and experience are increasingly being called upon to make sure that the manufacturing industry is doing what it has always done: delivered high-quality products–on time and on budget.

What’s next?

While many Americans have been focused on technology and health care, one industry has been roaring back to life.

Manufacturing.

The question is: What’s next.

It’s a fact that manufacturing hiring is skyrocketing. It’s also a fact, according to a story published in Advanced Manufacturing, that the United States is currently at the peak of industrial output.

It appears that the reports of manufacturing’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Manufacturing is thriving. It’s growing in major cities. Smaller companies are finding niche areas in which to invest. People across the country–especially those with college degrees–are writing their own tickets in careers that are personally and professionally rewarding.

And the industry shows no signs of stopping any time soon.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth in the manufacturing sector is driving the country’s overall economic performance.

Durable goods are booming. People are buying American. Fabricated metal products are in high demand–and it’s likely to continue.

Companies large and small are opening U.S. manufacturing plants, including Subaru of America. The nation’s new tax laws are making it more likely that manufacturing companies will not only ramp up hiring–but hire more highly trained manufacturing employees. And the country’s companies will likely be buying more products, many of which will be made in the U.S.A.

The jobs are out there

Yes, the jobs are out there–and many of the newest are being created in the manufacturing sector.

While most people think of high-tech, med-tech and white collar professional jobs when they think about what is fueling the nation’s economy, it is actually the women and men of manufacturing–along with the businesses large and small–that are the engine.

Since the industrial revolution, manufacturing has been a central part of the country’s economy. Thanks to innovation, automation and an incredibly skilled workforce, that shows no signs of slowing down or changing any time soon.

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