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Manufacturing Matters: Modern Manufacturing in the U.S.

Post Author Harlee Bush
Nov 8, 2021 8:45:00 AM
Career Tips

Manufacturing is important and vital for the American economy. In this series, we will be looking at the many ways manufacturing still helps our country. In our first installment, we looked into the history of manufacturing. Today we will be looking at manufacturing today. 

Economic Importance of the Supply Chain

In the United States, manufacturing represents 15% of the country’s economic output. This includes cars, aerospace, machinery, and telecommunication. From 2017 to 2018, the number of people employed in manufacturing went up 1.7%, to 11.7 million.

The image below shows the nation’s largest employers by sector, and manufacturing continues to rank in the top five.

United State Census

So, how does manufacturing fit into economics? Manufacturing is key to the supply chain. The supply chain is the process in which companies manufacture raw materials into completed products for retail. This includes every step from production operators who source the raw goods to assembly operators who operate the machine to forklift drivers and quality assurance inspectors. If one step of the chain is experiencing a shortage of materials or labor, the rest of the steps are affected, which affects the national and global economy.

When supply chains are run properly, they can reduce costs, maximize customer value, and increase competitive advantages. Communication and proactive planning help maintain a consistent flow through the process by ensuring the employees have the supplies needed to be productive during their shift.

Companies that Rely on Manufacturing 

The top 15 manufacturing companies in the world by revenue are:

  1. Volkswagen
  2. Toyota Motor
  3. Apple
  4. Samsung Electronics
  5. Daimler
  6. Foxconn
  7. Ford Motor
  8. Cardinal Health
  9. Honda
  10. General Motors
  11. Mitsubishi
  12. Huawei
  13. China Railway Engineering group
  14. SAIC
  15. BMW

The top 10 lean manufacturing companies in the world:

  1. Nike
  2. Kimberly-Clark
  3. Caterpiller
  4. Intel
  5. Illinois Tool Works
  6. Textron
  7. Parker Hannifin
  8. John Deere
  9. Ford
  10. Toyota




Percentage of Workforce that's manufacturing

From 2017 to 2018, the number of people employed in manufacturing went up 1.7%, to 11.7 million.

U.S. Census

Career Options

Manufacturing offers pathways for almost every field. Some individuals begin on a production floor, move to quality assurance, or control, and earn promotions to management or logistics. Engineers and project managers can also excel in this field.

According to iresearchnet.com, there are six different career pathways within manufacturing. Those different paths are as follows: health, safety, and environmental assurance, logistics and inventory control, maintenance, installation, manufacturing production process development and production, and lastly, there is quality assurance.

There are many ways to climb the ladder of success as a manufacturing worker within any of the six possible manufacturing career paths. While there are some manufacturing jobs that require a bachelor’s degree, there are plenty of entry-level manufacturing jobs that require a high school diploma or no high school diploma at all and can easily lead to upper-level positions with just a little experience and on-the-job training. Many companies offer on-site training to help their workers advance. The level of education and training you need will depend on which company and manufacturing career path you choose.


Sources in this article were found at:
How the Supply Chain Affects the U.S. Economy

Contributions of Key Economic Secot Recognized on Manufacturing Day


MAU is proud to offer many jobs supporting the manufacturing industry.  Click here to see some of our openings.

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