Manufacturing Taking a Turn for The Better


As I was growing up, as a kid in the early 90’s, I quickly learned that anything that said it was made in China was an inferior product to those that were made here in the USA.  However, even with this connotation of poor quality it seemed that every product that I came into contact with was made somewhere outside of the country.  Over these years, leading to this very day, the vision of these products has moved away from the poor quality of old.  Now it seems that what truly upsets us about products not made in with the USA is the fact that we have many of our own looking high and low for a job in the manufacturing industry.

In recent years it has seemed to have come nearly impossible to compete with markets like China, where it comes to manufacturing, with considerably low wages being received by their workers.  While wages in China are coming up, from an average of 58 cents per hour in 2001 and an estimated $6 per hour in 2015 http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/new-economy/2012/0510/As-Chinese-wages-rise-US-manufacturers-head-back-home, there is still a large gap compared to their American counterpart, at about $19 per hour http://www.trade.gov/mas/ian/MBU/index.html.  Even so, as stated in the Wall Street Journal article “Once Made in China: Jobs Trickle Back to U.S. Plants” manufacturing jobs are starting to make their way back to the good old USA.  The progress has been slow in the American manufacturing market after a 35% decline in jobs between 1998 and 2010 we have seen just a 4.3% increase since.  But, this increase that is expected to be about 3.2% this year compares to that of just 1.6% in all other fields.

These changes in the American manufacturing market have reasons that are not solely based on the increase in wages overseas.  It has been said that the American is more than 3 times more productive than that of their counterparts from China http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304587704577333482423070376.html#project%3DSLIDESHOW08%26s%3DSB10001424052702304363104577390470454369272%26articleTabs%3Darticle.  Shipping costs are becoming increasingly more expensive and companies are coming out close to even, if not better off, manufacturing in America when these costs are put into play.  These factors and the fact that overseeing the physical production becomes worlds easier when it is taking place in your back yard are bringing manufacturing jobs, little by little, back to the USA.

5 thoughts on “Manufacturing Taking a Turn for The Better

  1. I did remember a time when buying something made overseas implied that the product was lacking in quality and durability. I also remember a time when buying things such as automobiles overseas, meant that people were buying better quality cars than the ones made in the USA. It seems like opinions and overall perception change over time regarding imports. The one thing that remains constant is the need for jobs state side. We have to once again make quality synonymous with American Manufacturing.

  2. Another thing to bring up with manufacturing abroad is the difficulty with the distance. When you outsource manufacturing abroad that pulls thousands of miles in-between the American Company and the Chinese producer. With such a large distance, it is very difficult to keep up with quality control, theft, issues at the plant, pricing, etc. Oftentimes American companies will actually face huge problems by having overseas manufacturing.

  3. Interesting Article. I think that it was interesting that you pointed out that growing up in the 90’s we learned that Chinese made products were iferior to those made in the U.S. I think that many American’s myself included share this view. One of the biggest issues in an election year has to do with creating jobs. This is especially true about manufactoring jobs and the ability to bring manufactoring jobs back to the U.S. As mentioned in the article the biggest thing bringing many jobs back is a rise in overseas wages and high shipping tariffs. I think that manufactoring jobs can be critical to the economy of certain U.S regions which in turn affect the U.S. economy as a whole. Cities like Detroit have absolutely been economically ruined by the loss of manufactoring. I hope that these jobs keep coming back and staying in America. I think that this is vital to seeing a full economic reovery.

  4. I do think that the increase in wages in China are going to bring more jobs back to America. Also, with the increasing of shipping wages it will help big companies get convince and bring their manufacturing to the United States. Having manufacturing in our home country can also have another advantage where we can keep a close look on production. We can train the worker to be more efficient thus making profit on the long run increase.

  5. Great article. I think jobs are coming back to the U.S. because of many issues including: wage increases in China, quality issues, logistics, and poor communication. This is great because now jobs can come home and fuel the economy by giving work to small businesses and manufacturers. Additionally, doing business in other countries, such as China and India, is so unreliable and if companies are not content with product, for example, they have a very difficult time communicating issues with foreign suppliers. Also, logistically, it is not easy because the time it takes to transport product from China to the U.S. is unreasonable. If we keep jobs state-side, lines of communication will improve, quality will be managed, and it can be a working partnership between supplier and consumer. Outsourcing is definitely on a downturn, finally.

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