Large-scale job cuts in manufacturing, including those in recent months at York County's Harley-Davidson Inc. factory, often grab headlines. Despite that, all is not doom and gloom in the country's manufacturing sector, an Indiana business professor says. U.S. manufacturing and logistics industries, despite public perception, in fact experienced dramatic growth over the past generation in at least one metric, says a new report from Professor Michael Hicks at Ball State University. U.S. manufacturing production grew 11 percent since the dot-com bust of 2000-03 and the ensuing economic turbulence of the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions, according to Hicks.
The director of Ball State's Center for Business and Economic Research and a professor of economics and business research, Hicks released a report, "Manufacturing and Logistics: A Generation of Volatility & Growth," spotlighting the positive trends. "According to folklore, this has been a terrible generation for manufacturing and those who move goods," Hicks said. "That isn’t really what the data says. Indeed, 2015 was a record manufacturing production year in inflation-adjusted dollars," he continued. “While 2016 fell just short with some weakness in the first and second quarter, 2017 looks to be a new record year."