Sometimes the company leaves the employee and sometimes the employee leaves the company. There is a lot going on in the manufacturing sector.
- Some jobs are going to other countries. Part of that is a reflection of consumers choosing the same quality item at a lower price. It is natural and won’t go away.
- Technology and automation is replacing many jobs and will only continue to. From 2006 to 2013, “manufacturing grew by 17.6%, or at roughly 2.2% per year,” according to a report from Ball State University. The study reports as well that trade accounted for 13% of the lost U.S. factory jobs, but 88% of the jobs were taken by robots and other factors at home.
- Employees are voluntarily leaving the industry. This bucks the Populist myth, but many people don’t want manufacturing jobs.
“The manufacturing sector holds an important place in our political imagination — the common wisdom is that the nearly 30% decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs since 2000 was a key factor in Donald Trump’s rust-belt electoral success, for instance.”
“A subtext of this idea is that these manufacturing jobs are desirable, and American workers wouldn’t give them up easily. But according to analysts at the St. Louis Fed, the rate at which workers are quitting manufacturing jobs, rather than getting fired, has remained steady even as the number of jobs has fallen.”
“Why it matters: The trend today is that manufacturing workers are quitting their jobs at an accelerating rate, suggesting they’re leaving for better pay and working conditions in other fields. While the loss of manufacturing jobs has been devastating for many communities, it’s also true that many workers will leave manufacturing if given the chance.”