A study by the Boston Consulting Group documents what many manufacturers have quietly discovered in recent years — bringing production back to the United States from overseas carries some advantages.
More than half of executives at manufacturing companies with sales of more than $1 billion plan to return some production to the United States from China or are considering it, according to the report. That’s up from 37 percent in February 2012.
And the number of respondents in the process of moving back also rose, with 21 percent engaged in returning work to the United States, or “reshoring,” compared with 10 percent in 2012.
The study, conducted last month, elicited responses from more than 200 decision makers at companies across a broad range of industries. Virtually all of the companies manufacture in the United States and overseas and make products for consumption both in the United States and abroad.
One surprise is that energy costs — often mentioned by supporters of the natural-gas extraction process known as “fracking” as an argument for increased energy exploration to foster creation of manufacturing jobs — actually was the factor least cited by executives.
Instead, the leading advantages include competitive labor rates, proximity to customers, product quality, skilled labor and transportation costs.
While the survey is good news, the broader economic problem is that even as manufacturing returns to American shores, the old jobs associated with the sector are not coming back. As an article by Stephanie Clifford showed last week, renewed production of textiles in South Carolina factories features plenty of machines but few workers on the factory floor.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at
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