The widespread decrease in the U.S. manufacturing sector

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

In this post, we examine how the U.S. manufacturing sector has changed in the last decade. As we found in the previous posts, it is one of the sectors that suffered the most significant decreases in total employment numbers.

To see how the structure of the sector has changed, we take a look at which industries were dominant in each state. Since there are industries which seem to be popular in only a few states, we focus more on the three industries that are popular nationwide.

At the beginning of the decade, the clear winner was the computer and electronic product manufacturing industry; not only were its employment numbers the largest in the sector nationally, but it was also the top industry in all of the major states (California, Texas, Florida and New York).

In recent years, however, this has changed. Computer and electronic product manufacturing is now the largest industry in only seven states, having been surpassed by fabricated product manufacturing in both Texas and New York. As you can see on the map, in many states (16, to be exact) the food manufacturing industry has taken the lead, but these are, for the most part, states with a lower-than-average population. The fact is that the sector structure seems to be more diverse now.

The following chart also shows that the computer and electronic product manufacturing industry was among the worst performers, along with the furniture and wood product manufacturing industries. It also shows that all industries, except for the aforementioned food manufacturing, had suffered a significant decrease by 2012. Chemical manufacturing is the only industry that fell by less than 20 percent.

You can hover your cursor over the lines on the chart below to see the actual numbers.

Source: the US Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns data

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About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

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