Millions of jobs to be created in U.S. manufacturing sector

March 23, 2012

The growing cost of labor in China and the increased fuel prices that affect shipping goods there have led to a resurgence in American manufacturing, and a continuation of this trend could bring more than 2 to 3 million jobs within the sector to the U.S., the Regional News Network reported.

According to the news outlet, a new report from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) predicts that seven sectors which make up approximately $200 billion worth of goods imported from China will shift operations to the U.S. by the end of the decade.

According to a release from BCG, the report, titled "U.S. Manufacturing Nears the Tipping Point:  Which Industries, Why and How Much?," is the latest from the organization that highlights the potential increase in jobs within the sector coming back to America from abroad.

Manufacturing strategy for companies could begin to reflect the reshoring trend that is currently motivating businesses to bring operations back from abroad in order to cut costs.

The 2 to 3 million potential jobs that are coming back to the U.S. would consist of 600,000 to 1 million direct manufacturing positions and a significant amount of hiring in sectors that support the industry, according to the release.

"Rising Chinese wages are only part of the reason America is poised for a manufacturing renaissance," said Harold L. Sirkin, a BCG senior partner and coauthor of the report. "The U.S. manufacturing sector has gotten a lot more competitive over the past decade. And in recent years, companies have been paying much closer attention to the total costs of delivering a product made in China compared with making it closer to the end customer."

The release noted that BCG has identified many companies, both large and small, that have added or are planning to add U.S. production of their product after making an assessment of the total costs and risks.

"This trend is still in the early stages," said Michael Zinser, a partner at BCG. "But we expect it to accelerate as the new math of manufacturing increasingly favors the U.S. and as federal, state, and local governments provide more support for companies considering opportunities to reshore work."

Foreign companies are also beginning to increase their operations in the U.S., as manufacturing capacity at several key sites has been expanded in America, according to the release.