Reshoring is delivering wide-ranging benefits for an increasing number of U.S. manufacturers, who see it as a way to maintain (or regain) global competitiveness. According to the Reshoring Initiative, in 2003 about 140,000 jobs were lost to offshoring. In 2014, for the first time in two decades, the U.S. realized a net gain of 10,000 reshored jobs.
Companies such as Harley Davidson Motor Co. in Milwaukee, Illinois Tool Works Inc. in Glenview, Ill. and Essve Tech Inc., a manufacturer of corrugated steel pipes in Alpharetta, Ga., are actively recruiting women to fill the shortage caused by a growth spurt in U.S. manufacturing due to lower energy costs, reshoring a more competitive labor market as Baby Boomers continue to retire. The U.S. Department of Labor estimated last spring that 241,000 factory jobs remained unfilled.
The U.S. manufacturing industry is in the midst of a comeback. Manufacturers are gladly shifting from securing demand to meeting demand. However, reworking the U.S. transportation infrastructure is essential to the success of this progress.
According to one report, the manufacturing sector expanded in September at its fastest pace since early 2011, an indication that economic growth is picking up in the second half of the year. The Institute for Supply Management's closely watched purchasing managers index increased to 56.2 last month, from 55.7 in August, the group said.
The sharp slowdown in U.S. manufacturing that began last spring appears to be over, setting the stage for moderate expansion in the factory sector in coming months - with a little boost from companies bringing overseas production back to America.