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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Who leads the world in manufacturing?

Correction- Phil Auger writes to point out that the other four countries listed aren't the next largest manufacturers. Japan and German are high on the list, and many Western European countries rank ahead of Italy and Brazil. The chart compares the U.S. to four large economies often blamed for taking American manufacturing jobs.

Phil also sends a link to manufacturing output trends, as of 1997.

Which country makes the most stuff? The United States. In fact, U.S. manufacturers make 1/5 of everything in the world, equal to these four manufacturing countries combined.
The U.S. has lost manufacturing jobs over the past few decades, but as we argue often in this space, that is due to increases in productivity, not loss through trade. We manufacture more goods than ever before, but we do it with fewer people. That has real economic costs for workers without a place on the assembly line. But it also has tremendous economic benefits for American consumers who have access to more goods at lower prices. It would be nice if politicians acknowledged both the costs and benefits when setting public policy.

Hattip: Carpe Diem, which has a ton of great info, as well as the source for the chart above at the link.

1 comment:

  1. Fun Fact: China has been losing manufacturing jobs due to automation too.