Since 2014, the US has added 547,000 waiters and bartenders and lost 36,000 manufacturing workers. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US has gained 1.7 million food service jobs since the official start of the last recession in 2007, and has lost 1.5 million manufacturing jobs.
This is not a pretty picture for a sustainable economy, but with developments made by plastics manufacturers and suppliers such as additive manufacturing, foaming agents, and renewable resources coupled with low resin prices (made from oil), the plastics industry is leading the way to a recovery in manufacturing jobs growth.
According to a Plastics Industry Association (PIA) report, while the number and values of shipments in the plastics industry has dipped slightly – 2% – PIA President and CEO Bill Carteaux, said the report reflects a relatively young industrial sector that continues to outpace the broader manufacturing space. On Jan. 17, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) announced that Carteaux would serve as chair of the NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations (CMA) for a one-year term.
If we look as far back as 1980, employment in plastic manufacturers grew 0.3% per year, while employment in all U.S. manufacturing dropped 1.2% per year.
As these numbers show, our economy in general, and manufacturing and energy production in particular, has been dealt a blow with increased regulation, consolidation, a loss in bank confidence, increased overseas competition, and a generally unfriendly business environment. The only way this trend can be reversed is from not only the continuation of American ingenuity, but a restructuring of the entire economy. This means a government that lives well within its means (which must include entitlement reform), and a return to free market principles. This would unleash the hundreds of billions of dollars in cash that corporations are holding in fear of another recession and the intrusive structure of a government that has imprisoned our markets.