“Manufacturing in the United States” – Case Study Solution

Contrary to the widespread view that the productivity of the United States’ manufacturing sector has slackened considerably at various times in the past, going its capacity to employ, the “Manufacturing in the United States” case study demonstrates that the productivity has been on the rise by and large. This paper is geared towards exploring the continued growth of the sector, especially in terms of the quantity of goods it generates annually. The paper is geared towards examining the relationship between the sector’s growth and its corresponding capacity to employ workers. As well, the paper is aimed at examining other attendant matters, including the question whether the relocation of manufacturing industries within the US has affected how people perceive the growth. Notably, the relocation of a significant number of industries from the traditional manufacturing states to the southern states traditionally associated with farming has bolstered the view that the sector is on the decline across the US. In the paper, an overview of the principal points made in the presented case study is provided: the points are summarized. After the provision of the overview, statistical evidence is presented in support of the case appraisal or analysis. The statistical evidence is drawn from a figure presented by Gerber (2012, p.321). Before the presentation of the paper’s conclusion, which is essentially a summary of the principal points made in the paper, an estimation of how the numbers presented in the figure will change between 2009 and 2018 is made.

There is a widespread view that the US had the highest manufactured goods’ output between the 1960s and the 1990s but the output has always been on an upward growth. In the case study, Gerber (2012) seeks to elicit his audiences’ views on when they think the US had the highest manufactured goods’ output. He is persuaded that most people will not agree on the exact timeframe when US had the highest manufactured goods’ output. Most people will put that timeframe at between the 1960s and the 1990s. However, Gerber (2012) demonstrates that it is not true that the US has had other times when its manufactured goods’ output has surged significantly. Indeed, he demonstrates that output has always been growing. That means that each year’s manufactured goods’ output in the country is always more than the preceding year’s manufactured goods’ output but less than the succeeding year’s manufactured goods’ output. According to Gerber (2012), there is a lasting and persistent growth in the output that is only interfered with fleetingly by intermittent periods of recession. While the there is a lasting and persistent growth in the manufactured goods’ output in the US, the corresponding trend of employment has not matched the growth always. In the late 1970s, employment in the manufacturing sector peaked. In recent years, while the employment opportunities available in the sector have been reducing generally, the output has been growing.

Gerber (2012) shows that plain comparison of the output’s growth with the employment opportunities fails to address some realities. First, it does not take into account the impact of the relocation of many manufacturing industries from the northern states to the states in the south. Many states in the north are traditionally renowned for their thriving industrial or manufacturing sectors. Such states include Michigan and Ohio. In recent decades, such states have had many of the extant jobs migrate or relocate to other areas within the US. Most of the jobs that have exited the states have ended up in Texas. Many of the jobs that have exited the states have ended up in South Carolina. Many of the jobs that have exited the states have ended up in Tennessee. Some of the jobs that have exited the northern, traditionally industrial states have ended up in foreign nation-states. That means that the traditionally industrial states to the north have experienced a general decline in the number of employment opportunities available in their manufacturing industries. Generally, the employment rate prospects of the states to the north that have traditionally depended on the industries have continued to dwindle even as the national manufacturing goods’ output has continued growing. The dwindling of the prospects has led to the erroneous perception that the output has declined too.

Second, the plain comparison of the output’s growth with the employment opportunities fails to address the reality that there has been a general increase in the production capacity of the industries within the US as has been the case elsewhere. According to Gerber (2012), most industries now have fewer employees than they had before but are registering more productivity than before. Clearly, that has been brought about by the actuality that the industries improve the efficiency of their processes continually. The increase of the efficiency means that the industries are increasingly capable of posting more productivity without taking in more and more employees. Inefficient processes hamper increased productivity while efficient processes enable it. The plain comparison of the output’s growth with the employment opportunities fails to address that relation.

The plain comparison of the output’s growth with the employment opportunities fails to address the reality that there has been a general increase in the production capacity of the industries within the US owing to the industries’ continued adoption of new processes. According to Gerber (2012), most industries now have new processes that enable them register more productivity than before. The new processes mean that the industries are increasingly capable of posting more productivity without taking in more and more employees. Old, inefficient processes hamper increased productivity while new efficient processes enable it. As well, the plain comparison of the output’s growth with the employment opportunities fails to address that relation.

The plain comparison of the output’s growth with the employment opportunities fails to address the reality that there has been a general increase in the production capacity of the industries within the US owing to the industries’ continued adoption of new technologies, which are more efficient than the older ones. According to Gerber (2012), most industries now have new technologies that enable them register more productivity than before. The new technologies mean that the industries are increasingly capable of posting more productivity without taking in more and more employees. Old, inefficient technologies hamper increased productivity while new efficient technologies enable it. As well, the plain comparison of the output’s growth with the employment opportunities fails to address the relationship between the adoption of new, more efficient technologies and increased manufactured goods output.

The statistical evidence, which is presented by Gerber (2012), in Figure 13.2, supports the case appraisal or analysis (p.321). From the graph, it is clear that the US has had a lasting, persistent growth in its manufacturing output, albeit the small interruptions stemming from intermittent recessions. The graph’s left scale demonstrates that the US had a peak manufacturing employment rate in 1979. In that year, 19,426,000 persons were in manufacturing employment. The rate had a long-running decline after 1979 when the country entered a recession. The recession that lasted from 1981 to 1982 as well saw the rate decline substantially. From the graph, it is clear that the rate has been on a decline from the end of the last century while the manufactured goods’ output has grown by and large.

One can make various conclusions by extrapolating the general trends in the graph. Going by the trends shown in the graph, there is a high likelihood that the manufacturing goods’ output in the US will continue with its growth trend between 2009 and 2018. As well, going by the trends shown in the graph, there is a high likelihood that the manufacturing employment rate in the US will continue with its decline between 2009 and 2018.

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