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Annual Manufacturing Report



Douglas Thomas


The purpose of this report is to track domestic manufacturing activity and its supply chain in order to develop a quantitative depiction of U.S. manufacturing in the context of the domestic economy and global industry. This depiction provides change agents, such as public entities and trade groups that invest in advancing the current state of manufacturing, insight into the current state and recent trends in US manufacturing. The report further identifies areas of manufacturing that can have large impacts on costs. The US remains a major manufacturing nation; however, production and innovation is increasing rapidly in other countries. US manufacturing was significantly impacted by the previous recession and has not returned to pre-recession levels of production or employment. The US has advantages in technological prowess, innovation, productivity, and research and development; however, education was ranked low in two indices (i.e., IMD and World Economic Forum) and ranked high as being a problematic factor for doing business, which could negatively impact US advantages in the future. Institutions and institutional framework, which include crime, regulatory frameworks, country credit rating, and government spending among other things, was ranked low in two indices. A number of costs were identified as challenges to US manufacturing, including high labor costs. An input-output analysis of US manufacturing reveals that management is a significant cost along with a number of other non-production costs such as wholesale trade. The number of injuries and the injury rate in US manufacturing has a general downward trend, benefiting employees; however, manufacturing employee compensation has only grown slowly in recent years.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1935
Report Number


manufacturing, value added, employment, growth


Thomas, D. (2016), Annual Manufacturing Report, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed June 14, 2024)


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Created October 3, 2016, Updated June 24, 2021