Speed Reads

in some ways it's actually growing

In some ways, America's manufacturing industry is actually booming

The number of U.S. manufacturing jobs for people with less than a high school education fell 44 percent between 2000 and 2013, but it grew by 17 percent for people with associate degrees. Manufacturing jobs for people with graduate degrees have grown by 32 percent since 2000.

The Atlantic's Alana Semuels puts those numbers in context:

In some ways, the whole narrative that manufacturing is disappearing is flawed... Manufacturing, like most other industries in America, has modernized and become more sophisticated over the decades. To be sure, it employs millions fewer people than it did in the past. But manufacturing still makes up about 12.5 percent of America's gross domestic product, the same as it did in 1960. People who can work in modern manufacturing — those with computer skills and advanced degrees — are in demand. [The Atlantic]

While the U.S. has lost low-paying manufacturing jobs involving repetitive manual labor to China, it has simultaneously gained higher-paying "advanced" manufacturing jobs, Semuels argues, as American industry begins to specialize in production efforts that "capitalize on the country’s technology and educated labor pool." The average manufacturing worker now makes $26 an hour.

Read more about the changing face of American manufacturing at The Atlantic.