With international labor appearing to be much less expensive than domestic labor, many American companies opt to “offshore” their manufacturing. This form of outsourcing may save corporations money, but it also takes jobs away from local employees. As trends like this increase, the U.S. economy is taking a hit.
However, some companies are working to reverse this trend.
“Reshoring,” or the act of bringing jobs back to the United States, is becoming more common. Out of all the industries that make up the domestic economy, manufacturing brings in more jobs than any other.
This trend is largely due to rising foreign labor costs. Since the 2009 recession, domestic manufacturing has increased by 20%. This newly growing workforce is comprised of 12.3 million manufacturing workers earning an average salary of $81,289 per year.
Who are the companies making the effort to employ these workers? Wal-Mart tops the list, reshoring a total of 4,838 jobs. Ford is next, creating 3,200 jobs. Following behind them are Boeing with 2,700 jobs, General Electric with 2,656, and General Motors with 2,345. These five companies combined have created 16,000 reshoring jobs over the course of five years.
Automation Supplements Domestic Manufacturing
In addition to bringing human jobs back to the United States, companies are also expanding their use of automation. In 2015, industrial robot sales increased by 15%. This represents a total of 253,748 units sold, which is the highest number on record. Such technology helps speed up the modernization of tools for engineering, constantly creating new opportunities for manufacturing companies. By utilizing robots, factories can efficiently make products in their domestic factories rather than hiring foreign workers.