Manufacturing Today, By The Numbers


What does manufacturing as a whole look like as a worldwide economic activity? When a company starts up or shuts down a plant, or relocates production from one country to another, it is a data point. It may be a compelling story but it doesn’t tell you the aggregate effect of all manufacturing on a country or the world.

Beyond anecdotes about particular companies or locations, the global data collected by the World Bank and the International Labor Organization confirm that (1) the size of the manufacturing sector is positively correlated with that of the rest of the economy, and (2) the share of manufacturing in advanced economies is holding its own in terms of value added but declining in terms of share of the labor force.

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