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U.S. Manufacturing Output


Someone left a comment on one of the articles making the claim that the United States is no longer a manufacturing economy, having transitioned to a service sector oriented economy. The statement is half right. While the U.S.’ service sector has grown, and this is not a bad thing, so has the manufacturing sector. Here is a graph showing an increase in manufacturing output.

De Rugy’s data shows an increase in manufacturing output since 1975 and a decrease in employment in the manufacturing sector. What this suggests, off hand, is an increase in productivity per worker, which has released labor to the service sector and other industries. This is a good thing, because it means that we are much wealthier than we were in 1975 (not only more manufacturing, but a greatly expanded market in other sectors, as well).

Jonathan M. Finegold Catalán writes from San Diego and studies political science and economics.


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