Second Quarter 2012
Despite experiencing solid gains in the last two years, U.S. manufacturing employment is down by about one-third since 1990, as globalization and productivity-enhancing technologies have reduced domestic demand for factory workers. The decline in factory jobs has been uneven across the country. Factory jobs have declined most dramatically in the eastern United States, but by less in the Great Plains region. Among Federal Reserve Districts, factory employment in the Dallas, Kansas City, and Minneapolis Districts has outperformed all other Districts in each of the last three business cycles. As policymakers increasingly look to manufacturing as a source of high-paying jobs, understanding the sector’s evolution is important.