Chart of the day: US Manufacturing Employment, 1960-2012

By Global Macro Monitor

Here’s an interesting data series we thought you might find enlightening.

Note the peak in manufacturing jobs in June 1977, which represented 22 percent of all nonfarm payrolls, then, to fall to less than 9 percent of total employment today. It’s too earlier to claim victory with the current recovery in the manufacturing sector, but it is the the first positive slope since mid-1990's.

There are many reasons for the secular decline, including: 1) the strengthening of the dollar during the 1980's; 2) globalization; 3) entry of China and India into the global labor force; 4) the internet; 4) productivity; 5) technological innovation; 6) demographics and worker preferences; and 7) all of the above.

We’ll leave it to the academics to debate it and the politic...


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