April 28, 2015

NO ONE LIKED LABORING ANYWAY:

Service Sector Surges, Manufacturers Learn to Do More With Less (Andrew Soergel, April 28, 2015, US News)

Manufacturers have shed more than 7 million positions since the industry's June 1979 peak - when they employed nearly 19 percent of the U.S. workforce. That number now only stands at 8 percent. [...]

But that's not to say manufacturing industries are dying. Rather, the sector is increasingly going the way of efficiency as service industries continue to suck up a growing percentage of the domestic workforce. Technological innovation and automation have cut into low-skill manufacturing positions (and created service positions in the industrial sector), which naturally trims down the number of employees needed for business.

The vast majority of the domestic manufacturing sector was more productive in 2014 than a year earlier, according to a Labor Department report released Tuesday, as automation allows a thinning industrial workforce to maintain relatively consistent output.

Productivity, which is measured in terms of output per hour, gained last year in 19 of the 21 main manufacturing industries - including textile mills, chemical plants and furniture factories. Output was up in the same 19 industries, though hours worked fell in nearly 40 percent of all manufacturing divisions between 2013 and 2014.

By maintaining (or, in this case, increasing) output while cutting down on labor hours, an employer can increase workplace productivity and save on labor costs associated with a smaller, more efficient workforce.

Always amusing when folks claim productivity hasn't increased massively in recent decades.

Posted by at April 28, 2015 8:02 PM
  

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