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Advanced ManufacturingThe New American Innovation Policies$
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Willian B. Bonvillian and Peter L. Singer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037037

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037037.001.0001

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Manufacturing and the Future of Work

Manufacturing and the Future of Work

Chapter:
(p.243) 9 Manufacturing and the Future of Work
Source:
Advanced Manufacturing
Author(s):

William B. Bonvillian

Peter L. Singer

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262037037.003.0009

This chapter examines a role for manufacturing in addressing the issue of “secular stagnation,” a concern about a decline in innovation, growth, the middle class, productivity rates, and related investment. Like agriculture, manufacturing has high productivity levels, so output can continue to increase even as employment falls. Historically, manufacturing has maintained high productivity gains; according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, between 1997 and 2015, the real value added of manufacturing increased by about 40 percent. Although there were measurement problems with this estimate, it suggests the productivity scaling factor that manufacturing can provide for an economy. Moreover, a substantial investment in advanced manufacturing offers an opportunity to directly address the underlying trend driving working-class unemployment, wage problems, and prime-age worker unemployment.

Keywords:   manufacturing, secular stagnation, productivity, advanced manufacturing, unemployment, wage problems, innovation, growth

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