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Report highlights changing geographical trends in U.S. manufacturing

July 18, 2019

A recent report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) details the changes in manufacturing’s geographic concentration across the country between 1940 and 2016. Manufacturing was the largest source of employment in 15 states in 1940, concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest, and had grown to the largest source of employment in 18 states by 2000, concentrated in the Southeast and central states. However, manufacturing was the largest source of employment in only Indiana and Wisconsin by 2016. This shift in concentration is explained by the rise of U.S. service industries and manufacturers’ flight towards lower-cost rural production sites, according to the CEW report.

The report provides context for the overall reduction in manufacturing’s prominence in the American economy through statistics such as changes in manufacturing employment and manufacturing’s share of U.S. economic output. It also presents a detailed breakdown of manufacturing in the 18 states where it accounted for the greatest source of employment in 2000.

manufacturing, trends, employment