MAP: US Counties Where Manufacturing Dominates And Jobs Have Gotten Slammed

Despite indications that manufacturing in the U.S. is starting to make a historic comeback, there is no denying that the industry has been in decline for quite some time.

The percentage of people employed in manufacturing has fallen considerably from the post-WWII boom era. Many of these jobs have shifted to countries with lower labour costs.

A new report from the Cleveland Fed confirms that, in the U.S., it has been a decade of hard times in places that rely on manufacturing employment. Economist Daniel Hartley identifies that, in spite of its decline, many counties still exceed the 11 per cent average share for employment in manufacturing.  Here’s a map and a chart:

manufacturing map

[credit provider=”Cleveland Fed” url=””]

Distribution Across Counties Manufacturing

[credit provider=”Cleveland Fed”]

Hartley notes that counties in which manufacturing accounts for 18 per cent or more of employment “contain about one-fourth of the manufacturing employment in the United States, [but] they contain only one-eighth of the U.S. population.”

Since 2000, there’s been a divergence between the unemployment rate in counties with a high manufacturing share and the general unemployment rate:

Mean County Unemployment Rate Manufacturing

[credit provider=”Cleveland Fed”]

The spread between the two increased during the recent recession, which has put these counties in a deeper hole than most. The spread is starting to narrow, but Hartley indicates that this is “far less than needed to undo the cumulative effects of the employment losses sustained in the last decade.”