Andrew McAfee: Manufacturing: Where the Jobless Recovery Is Most Evident

InsightaaS: As you probably know, the InsightaaS tagline is “the ‘why’ in enterprise technology.” We are constantly on the lookout for ways to illustrate the impact of IT on productivity, profitability, efficiency – all of the objectives of enterprise executive management. 

In this post from his “The Business Impact of IT” blog, Andrew McAfee uses FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data) statistics to illustrate the beneficial impact of technology on manufacturing output, and the less-salubrious effect on manufacturing employment.


Over at Slate, Matthew Yglesias has a sharp post about what he calls the ‘Mythical American Manufacturing Renaissance.’ He uses three FRED-generated charts to make his point. The first shows the recent, apparently-substantial rise in US manufacturing employment.

The next two take the bloom off this rose by showing that the last time the country employed this few manufacturing workers was during the 1940s (after the WWII production surge ended), and that the percentage of workers employed by the manufacturing sector has been dropping steadily for well over half a century, and is now  below 10%.

But there has been something of a renaissance in US manufacturing output, just not in employment. As this chart shows, output is not quite back to its all-time peak, but it has bounced back snappily since the Great Recession ended…

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