Feb 20, 2015
This article is by Thomas Roemer, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the executive director of the MIT Leaders for Global Operations program.
In the last decade, we’ve lost millions of manufacturing jobs to outsourcing. According to U.S. News and World Report, there are now 5.1 million fewer American manufacturing jobs than in 2001. The lure of low wages, tax advantages, and other cost savings has made for a seemingly straightforward calculus, and manufacturer after manufacturer, supported by intricate spreadsheets, has abandoned ship, until offshoring has become the emerging mantra of the new millennium. U.S. companies that still manufactured locally have slowly become outliers.
Interestingly, this dynamic now seems to be changing, as we’re beginning to see more manufacturing in the U.S. Total output from American manufacturing relative to gross domestic product is back to pre-recession levels, with more than half a million new jobs. According to the Reshoring Initiative, 15% of this job growth results from reshoring alone. There are many reasons for this shift back to the U.S.
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