Manufacturing Employment Data

 Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce and JPMorgan Chase & Co. published a new research report that explores the changing manufacturing industry and its workforce from the period following World War II through today. Upskilling and Downsizing in American Manufacturing reported that workers with post-secondary education now outnumber workers with a high school diploma or less in the industry.

The loss of nearly seven million manufacturing jobs since 1979 due to automation, globalization, and a more networked economy paralleled a shift in worker education requirements. Workers with a high school diploma or less declined from 79% of the manufacturing workforce in the 1970s to just 43% in 2016. Over the same period, the share of the manufacturing workforce with some college education but no degree grew to 26%, while the share of workers with bachelor's degrees grew to 30%.

Nevertheless, for workers with less than a bachelor's degree, manufacturing was still the largest provider of good jobs in 35 states in 2016, and it still provided 4.8 million of these jobs nationally. However, manufacturing is not expected to be a major job machine in the future, with employment expected to decline 2% or by 253,000 net jobs as of 2027.

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