Visit our website

October 2013

Lost! 6,000,000 Manufacturing Jobs in 9 Years.  Challenges in the Face of Our Emerging Recovery.

The reports vary wildly.  Some studies suggest that manufacturing job losses in the United States over the last 10 years approximate 2.5 million.  That would be sobering enough.  But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. lost an astounding 6,000,000 manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2009.  Staggering numbers by any gauge! 

Let’s consider the biggest causes for the dramatic drop in jobs:
  • Offshoring.  Before the economy tanked, jobs were
    leaving the U.S. in droves. Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce showed that “U.S. multinational corporations, the big brand-name companies that employ a fifth of all American workers … cut their work forces in the U.S. by 2.9 million during the 2000s while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million.”  It was believed at the time that producing offshore . . . China, Asia . . . was less expensive than manufacturing in the States.
  • Technology.  With the advance in technology, companies could produce more products with fewer staff.  I recently toured the L.A. Times production plant and watched as robots moved giant rolls of paper from one location to another.  There wasn’t a human in sight.  And software has become so much more sophisticated and comprehensive in recent years that it takes fewer people than before to complete the necessary tasks.
  • Recession.  Hard times.  Few people escaped the effects of the Great Recession.  Consumption declined dramatically.  To stay afloat, manufacturers cut costs.  Many of the surviving companies (57,000 did not survive in that period from 2000 to 2009) reduced their work force as a way to reduce expenses.

By any measure manufacturing has suffered.  Greatly.  But like many areas in our lives, there’s an ongoing cycle to it all.

I welcome your comments at [email protected].

You are welcome to forward Keys to Profitability to colleagues as long as you credit the Schwartz Profitability Group and its source at

If this issue of Keys to Profitability was forwarded to you, you may begin getting your own by sending a message to [email protected].

Driving Profitability by Uncorking Operational Bottlenecks for Manufacturers and Distributors

Manufacturing Nugget of the Month

The Boeing C-17 plant in Southern California is slated to close. 3,000 workers to be affected.


Distribution Nugget of the Month

Modern Distribution Management’s (MDM) 2013 Distribution Trends Report predicts uncertainty and bumpy business conditions still ahead.


About the author

Lee Schwartz, Principal and founder of the Schwartz Profitability Group (, is a consultant, author and speaker who has been uncorking operational bottlenecks for manufacturing and distribution companies for over 11 years, saving them time and money, and boosting their bottom line. Prior to launching his consulting practice, Lee spent over 20 years with manufacturers and distributors, many in senior management positions of CEO and President. Lee can be reached by phone at (310) 450-2628 or by e-mail at [email protected].

View my profile on LinkedIn

Copyright © 2001-2013 by the Schwartz Profitability Group.
All Rights Reserved.