U.S. Factories Are Working Again; Factory Workers, Not So Much

U.S. Factories Are Working Again; Factory Workers, Not So Much

Manufacturing output in the U.S. is nearing prerecession levels, but about 1.5 million factory jobs—roughly… Factories were humming back to life even before a pledge to revitalize American manufacturing helped propel Donald Trump to the presidency.

But jobs aren’t returning in kind, a reality that will make it tough for Mr. Trump—or anyone—to significantly boost employment in the industrial heartland, as he has pledged to do. Technology and automation have given manufacturing companies the means to function, and even thrive, with fewer employees than ever before.

Manufacturing output is nearing prerecession levels. But about 1.5 million factory jobs—about 20% of positions […]

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