YaleGlobal. August 7, 2012.
The US may be a service economy, but it’s still the world’s largest manufacturer. There are many reasons to remain bullish on US manufacturing and the American worker, the author claims. US firms invest in high-tech equipment, and the US worker is tops in adding value per hour on products. Recent economic difficulties also help fuel a manufacturing resurgence: falling wages allow the US to compete with low-cost China; anxious Americans work long hours; high energy prices and an uptick in natural disasters could prompt multinationals to relocate factories closer to the big US market. The author also points to factors that could stall the resurgence: US students show little interest in science or engineering. And because American workers enjoy great mobility, US manufacturers hesitate to provide apprenticeships that provide state-of-the-art training. Tough economic conditions could usher in new serious attitudes on career and education choices. [Note: contains copyrighted material].