(2007), "Bigger or smaller?", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 56 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijppm.2007.07956aab.002Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Bigger or smaller?
Everyone “knows” that the US is losing out to the Far East and other places like Mexico in the manufacturing stakes. The reality is somewhat different. In only two of the past 20 years has manufacturing output fallen. The total amount of manufactured goods produced in 2005 was, as usual, a record, increasing 3.8 percent in real terms. A major reason behind this continued growth is that US firms spend heavily on research and development and new plant and equipment and as a result they are leaders in both innovative products and improved manufacturing processes.
However there is a downside to the increase in productivity. Employment in manufacturing is shrinking at quite a pace – hours worked have contracted almost 20 percent since 1995. About 14.2 million people remain on manufacturing payrolls and this is down 3 million since the end of 1995 and down 5.3 million from the peak in 1979.