If you think US manufacturing is struggling - look at the facts. American industrial output is seeing record highs and has doubled production since 1979. Urban manufacturing is growing, with many new manufacturing jobs going to recent college graduates. The Great Recession certainly had a negative impact - but manufacturing has bounced back stronger. "The quite simple truth is that manufacturing in American is doing extremely well and is enjoying record levels of production. At the same time, the places factories are located and the people who work in these factories have gone through epic change."
In the decade since the beginning of the Great Recession, industrial production (manufacturing, mining and electricity production) has been a political football of both the left and right. It’s time to stop playing that game, and a good way to start is to review some facts about these industries, which continue to provide a significant share of the Midwestern economy. We are now at the peak of industrial production in the United States. By every measure of production, we are at record levels. The industrial production index peaked in December 2007, then dropped by roughly 15 percent by the summer of 2009. It took five years to recover to a second peak in 2015. As the world economy dipped in 2015 and 2016, so too did U.S. industrial production. We are back at a record level of industrial output. It’s worth noting that total U.S. industrial production is more than twice what it was back in 1979, when employment peaked. And yes, of course, that is adjusted for inflation. Read More