We are living in a disposable society, where these days it seems as though everything we buy is designed to be thrown away or short lived. From razors to fast fashion, few products we buy are actually made to last.
This throw-away mantra and desire to always have the latest and greatest of everything, has assisted businesses in having a continual flow of stock turnover, even during times of economic decline.
In a recent report released by consulting firm Headlight Data, they revealed the manufacturing industry has created nearly 500,000 new jobs in the last six years. This six-year expansion in the sector, exceeds the 5-year expansion experienced in 1994-1998.
The report also highlights that while manufacturing has seen a steady growth in hiring since 2011, some sectors of the industry have had higher growth than others.
According to the report, the top five leading manufacturing sectors in terms of growth were:
Transportation added 270,000 jobs which represents a 20% increase over the last five years
Food Products added 95,000 jobs which represents a 7% increase over the past five years
Machinery added 50,000 jobs which represents a 5% increase over the past five years
Chemicals added 10,000 jobs which represents a 1% increase over the past five years
Furniture added 6,000 jobs which represents a 1% increase over the past five years
These findings are a valuable source of information, as it suggests the manufacturing sector has continued to represent a core source of economic prosperity, even during a period of decline. It also shows that the industry has outperformed many other sectors in relation to its contribution to the economy and capacity to generate quality jobs.
Like other industries around the world, manufacturing is undergoing a period of significant change as new and demanding technologies come to the forefront and new markets emerge, including the throw-away society. This will ideally mean that growth in the manufacturing industry will continue to rise and remain a vital contributor to the growth of the economy.
With the innovation of science and technology, comes automisation, digitisation and new materials which has changed what it means to be a manufacturer. The manufacturing industry is no longer a basic sector that only employs low-skilled workers. There is an increasing demand in highly specialised workers who can assist in keeping up with the ever changing and evolving markets. If science and technology continues to dominate our society and market trends, we can be confident in presuming the growth in these manufacturing sectors will continue to grow and play a huge role on how we live our lives.