U.S. Economy

About That U.S. Manufacturing Renaissance ...

There are few signs of it actually happening yet.

No renaissance here.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

After a brutal period of downsizing and reorganizing, the U.S. manufacturing sector has become the most competitive in the world. Output per worker is higher than in any other major manufacturing country. Labor costs per unit of output are lower than in Brazil, Canada and Germany, and only slightly higher than in China. What's more, writes Gregory Daco of Oxford Economics in the new report from which the above facts are taken, "the U.S. is 'gifted' with a stable regulatory framework, a flexible labor market, low energy costs and access to a large domestic market."

So that's great! Time for a manufacturing renaissance, right? Well, maybe, eventually. But -- and Daco notes this in his report -- there are few signs of it actually happening yet. 

Yes, there are the almost 900,000 manufacturing jobs added in the U.S. since early 2010. But it's important to see that for what it is -- a modest rebound after a spectacular collapse:

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