Facts About Manufacturing... It Drives The Economy

By Tom Morrison posted 03-26-2015 02:14 PM


It’s 2015 and there are still well-read individuals in our society economists, business columnists, futurists who think manufacturing doesn’t matter much anymore. Some point to manufacturing’s being 12% of the economy, down from 25% a half-century ago. Others theorize that in this information age, making stuff is less valuable than knowing stuff. 

Such arguments are passé, as so many key thought leaders have observed, including Harvard’s Gary Pisano and Willy Shih, ITIF’s Rob Atkinson, and Dow’s Andrew Liveris. The data found in our recent update to the Facts About Modern Manufacturing justify their enthusiasm for manufacturing’s role in society. 

While manufacturing value-added may be a smaller share of the economy than it was in the 1960s, it remains a key basis of prosperity in our society:

  • Manufacturing’s multiplier effect is vast. A dollar of stuff made here generates twice that level of economic activity across society both upstream (like mining and energy production) and downstream (like retail and finance).   
  • Manufacturers contribute more to innovation than other sectors. Three-fourths of private sector R&D investment derives from manufacturers.
  • Manufacturers contribute more to our balance of payments than other sectors. More than half of all U.S. exports are manufactured goods.
  • Productivity allows us to do more with less, and manufacturing productivity outshines all other sectors—since the 1990s, its productivity growth has been four times faster than the service sector’s.

Living standards grow because of manufacturing. Life is better because of manufacturing.

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Article by Stephen Gold, CEO of MAPI.  MAPI is helping promote the importance of manufacturing, and so can you by sharing the new video they have provided. You can view this informative 3-minute video on the importance of manufacturing on YouTube by typing in keywords “MAPI Facts About Manufacturing” in the YouTube search field.