and it's all thanks to...
The US Manufacturing Renaissance
US manufacturing may finally be starting the transition home from overseas. In a movement referred to as the “US Manufacturing Renaissance,” the abundance of cheap, natural gas is expected to convince manufacturers to cut energy costs by reshoring production back to the United States. Although overseas labor is still generally cheaper, the gap in cost is closing. China had a 10% increase in labor costs last year, and foreign wages are expected to continue to increase.
In contrast, labor in the United States is the cheapest it has ever been, and comes without the overseas complications of currency rates and wage differentials. When a company brings its factories back to America it is not only helping itself, but also our country by putting money back into the United States economy. Local manufacturing also keeps innovative minds working for America, as today’s manufacturing business is centered on technology, computerization, and engineering. By bringing the factories back to America, businesses are ensuring that the scientists who have to walk the factory floors will stay here as well and continue to modernize the manufacturing industry.
Reshoring: The American Comeback
Overseas transportation has also become an issue for companies. Orders of goods such as fashion apparel, which travel by ship, move too slowly to be adjusted when demand fluctuates quickly. Considering this, and how production costs have also started to rise overseas, it is not surprising that apparel manufacturing has been growing in New York and other American cities. Reshoring also means that factories will have to adhere to American laws, which prevent them excesses other governments turn a blind eye to such as environmental and labor issues.
Reshoring is expected to continue to rise over the next two years, mostly from industries with access to global markets who use cheap natural gas. Chemical plants are the most likely to be reshored as they require the least amount of human labor, making offshore production less advantageous. Other companies seeing the effects of natural disaster upon competitors are creating factories in many countries, the US included, to mitigate risk. Although it is too early to tell how big the comeback will be, the combination of rising costs overseas and cheap labor at home ensure that the Renaissance is coming.
Manufacturing Job Opportunities
If you’re eager to be involved in the American Manufacturing Renaissance these are some of the career opportunities available:
Assembler: An assembler at a manufacturing factory makes on average $12.35/hour and assembles the factory’s products and machinery.
General laborer: The general laborers, who are expected to have a high school diploma or equivalent, make a median of $12.19/hour. A general laborer is responsible for the production of goods.
Handlers and packers: Averaging 12.62 an hour, handlers and packers take the finished product and pack it for transport, with the help of packing machinery if needed. The packer ensures that the box or container that holds the product will keep it from being damaged during travel.
Machinist: A machinist makes a median of $17.87/hour for the application of their mechanics and mathematics skills. A machinist operates and modifies the machines that produce precision instruments.
Maintenance workers: A maintenance worker is paid an average of 13.82/hour. The maintenance worker needs special training on how to work on heavy machinery without injury. Not only can they operate the factory’s machines, but they know how to identify when one is malfunctioning and notify their superiors before damaging the machinery.
We are on the cusp of a major upswing in US based manufacturing, if you’re ready to find a great career in this exciting new field—start your search here