U.S. Manufacturing Sector


The U.S. Manufacturing Sector is experiencing a revision in it s profile. While manufacturing still consists of low-skill, high volume production and related remployment, there is a growth of the application of innovative technology that allows a single technician to command and control robotic and computer-enhanced machinery and equipment to produce manufactured items at a cost competitive with low cost / hand produced manufacturing in developing nations. Thus, there is a chance for a growth in employment in the U.S., but it is for a different type of employee then existed in the past. Rather than working on a manufacturing line, the technician actually controls the line. The equipment and machinery utilized by the technician is also capable of producing a level of fabrication that in some cases may not be attainable by low cost / hand produced operations in developing nations.


  • The largest employment sector in the United States is health care and social assistance (18.4 million persons in 2012), followed by retail trade (14.8 million), accommodation and food services (12.0 million), and then manufacturing (11.2 million).
  • The total payroll for those 11.2 million persons employed in manufacturing in 2012 was $593.7 billion.
  • The average annual payroll per employee in the manufacturing sector in 2012 was $53,500.
  • In 2012, 28.7% of manufacturing employees 25 and older had a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • Although it was not the top employment sector in the state, California had the highest number of employess in that sector in 2012: 1,138,370 persons.
  • Within the manufacturing sector, the segment with the largest number of employees is food manufacturing with 1.41 million persons, followed by fabricated metal product manufacturing (1.39 million), and transportation equipment manufacturing (1.36 million).
  • The manufacturing segment with the highest value of shipments was the petroleum and coal products manufacturing segment with $844 billion. The total value of manufacturing-related shipments for 2012 was $5.8 trillion.
  • In 2012, approximately 60.6% of total U.S. export dollars was from the manufacturing sector.
  • Source: U.S. Census Bureau   http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/infographics/manufacturing_2014.pdf

In the Third Quarter 2014, the he U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that the manufacturing sector accounted for more than 12% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).   http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=51&step=1#reqid=51&step=2&isuri=1