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Factory production returns to the US, but with a smaller workforce

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After decades of manufacturing and items created through factory production going offshore to be done by a cheaper labor force(i.e China and other low-wage countries), the US is now seeing that work is returning onshore.

There is however one big difference: the workforce being used to accomplish this is much smaller.

US factory payrolls have increased four years in a row, totaling about 650,000 jobs added during that period to the American economy. While that is good, and the best stretch of growth for manufacturing in 25 years, it does not come near the 6 million jobs that were lost over the past decade.

While the last three decades saw many companies, large and medium sized, produce overseas to take advantage of cheap labor and transportation cost; the last five years has seen a dramatic return.

With rising wages in China and Mexico, the cost of natural gas production in America decreasing transportation costs by 25%, and technological advances that required a more skilled worker and less dependent of the number of people touching a product, more manufacturing work can be performed here, and with a better quality control.

The one drawback to reshoring, is that it now requires less people to produce that same amount of manufacturing output. Therefore more work returns, less jobs created to support that effort.



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