Lebanon Reporter

Features

February 19, 2013

5 myths about manufacturing jobs

In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama said that creating manufacturing jobs is the nation's "first priority."

To some, this may sound like a throwback to a long-lost era; after all, such jobs are being eliminated, outsourced or automated, right? Not really.

The United States remains a world leader in manufacturing, and that sector remains essential to our economic and technological future.



Here are the five biggest misconceptions about U.S. manufacturing — and why the sector still matters.

1. A manufacturing job is no longer a ticket to the middle class.

There is no doubt that America's manufacturing base has declined, peaking at 19.6 million jobs in 1979 and now at just over 11 million jobs. Despite this economic transition, however, U.S. manufacturing jobs are still worth having. On average, full-time manufacturing work pays 20 percent more than full-time service-sector jobs. In my recent travels across the country, I met electronic technicians with only a high school diploma who had risen through the ranks of manufacturing companies to earn more than $100,000 a year. High school grads in retail or service-sector jobs rarely reach six figures.

Of course, manufacturing alone cannot solve our unemployment problem. For the foreseeable future, the lion's share of America's job growth will be in the service sector. By 2014, employment in services is expected to reach 129 million jobs, with education and health care growing most quickly. Still, there are lucrative careers available in manufacturing. And Obama's State of the Union proposal to create manufacturing hubs across the country — "to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs" — will generate opportunities for young Americans with an aptitude for making things.

2. We can outsource manufacturing as long as product design stays here.

Text Only
Features

Featured items
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Fire Engulfs Tower Block in China Ocean Drones Making Waves in Research World Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier Raw: Ferry Captain Received Medical Treatment Hundreds Gather for Denver Pot Rally on Easter Transcript Reveals Confusion in Ferry Evacuation Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide