Originally published April 9, 2017.
We often hear people blurt out things about jobs or manufacturing without any knowledge of the workforce.
“No one works in manufacturing anymore,” or “We are in a service-only economy in the United States,” are some common statements.
Perhaps they are just exaggerating, but that’s not true. Comparatively speaking, not as many people work in manufacturing today as they used to. However, we still have about 12.2 million people working in manufacturing, according to data from the Bureau and Labor Statistics.
That is down considerably from just 10 years earlier, when about 14.3 million people worked in manufacturing.
But they still make up about 8% of the total nonfarm workforce.
If you count construction and mining to measure the total number of people who make things, the percentage is higher.
About 6.1 million people worked in construction, according to the latest BLS numbers, and about 844,000 worked in mining.
Together the total goods-producing workforce included about 19.1 million people, about 12.7% of the workforce.