Factory orders rose 1.7 percent in September powered by demand for commercial aircraft (n.b.). Their value, $490.8 billion, now stands at a record, surpassing the previous top reached before the recession.
What missing are the jobs, which historically have paid much better than most service positions. Factory jobs were little changed in the September employment report. As the chart below shows, manufacturing employment entered a deep slump after 2000 (when China entered the World Trade Organization) that was only worsened by the Great Recession.
On average, 17 manufacturing operations closed every day between 2000 and 2011, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Employment has not made a meaningful rebound.
This data seems at odds with the many stories we read over the past year about manufacturing coming back to the United States.More