Job growth in manufacturing is starting to more steadily rebound following the 2008-2009 recession. While the sector is seeing positive expansion, it is not keeping pace with the rest of the economy. Rising capital investment and widespread adoption of new manufacturing techniques demonstrated industry’s willingness to adapt to changing circumstances. Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma quality programs created demand for a smaller but more highly skilled workforce.

Data on state employment show that, on average, the number of U.S. manufacturing jobs has increased 4.6 percent since the end of the recession in December 2009. Northwest and Midwest states have experienced above average increases in manufacturing employment while states in the East and Southwest are recovering at a slower pace.

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