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
Let’s consider the biggest causes for the dramatic drop in
- 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
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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 Managementâ€™s (MDM)
2013 Distribution Trends Report predicts uncertainty and
bumpy business conditions still ahead.
Lee Schwartz, Principal and founder of the Schwartz Profitability
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].