BW Online | May 24, 2004 | U.S. Factories: Falling Behind: “In many ways, the last few years should have been a golden era for American manufacturers. Since 1997, the productivity of U.S. factories has soared, rising at a 4.6% annual average rate. That’s the fastest sustained rise in manufacturing productivity in at least 40 years, and well ahead of the 1960s heyday of U.S. industrial prowess.
Yet despite these gains, the U.S. factory sector all but imploded. Domestic factory output is still down 2% from its 2000 peak, while imported goods are up 8%. Some 3 million factory jobs — one in every six — have been lost since the last peak in mid-2000. And while the manufacturing sector is finally expanding and hiring again — up 37,000 jobs since January — no one expects domestic manufacturers to ever recover the ground lost to overseas competitors.”