Since its peak in 1979, manufacturing employment in the U.S. has been on the decline, accelerating sharply around the turn of the century. Despite modest gains since 2010, the number of manufacturing jobs remains far below previous levels. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), manufacturing accounted for more than 13 percent of the U.S. nonfarm workforce in 1999, or 17.3 million jobs. As of 2019, just 8.5 percent of workers were employed in the manufacturing sector, totaling less than 13 million jobs.
Interestingly, at the same time that manufacturing jobs have moved overseas, manufacturing output—measured as the value of goods and services produced in the U.S.—has increased steadily. In fact, the BLS’s index of labor productivity for manufacturing is 2.5 times greater than it was in 1987 (the earliest year for which the data is available) due to advances in machinery, increased worker skill, and improved industrial processes.
The analysis found that 11.4% of all jobs in Tennessee are in the manufacturing sector. Out of all U.S. states, Tennessee reports the 12th largest share of employment in manufacturing.
Here is a summary of the data for Tennessee:
• Share of employment in manufacturing: 11.4%
• Change in total manufacturing jobs since 1999: -29.2% (146,100 total jobs lost)
• Total manufacturing jobs 2019: 355,100
• Total manufacturing jobs 1999: 501,200
For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:
• Share of employment in manufacturing: 8.5%
• Change in total manufacturing jobs since 1999: -25.9% (4,482,000 total jobs lost)
• Total manufacturing jobs 2019: 12,840,000
• Total manufacturing jobs 1999: 17,322,000
For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Smartest Dollar’s website: https://smartestdollar.com/