This is a pet peeve, so forgive me in advance.
Manufacturing in the US is by no means dead.
We don’t have nearly the number of unskilled or semi-skilled manufacturing jobs as once before, thanks in part to hands-free automation and a higher level of engineering knowledge / skilled labor needed for the non-automated work. Overall employment in the sector dropped about 12% between 2003 and 2013, and more than 20% from 1993 to 2013.
We are no longer the global leader in either manufactured goods — a title lost in 2010 — or valued added manufacturing — which we ceded in 2013 — although the data are skewed of late in China’s favor because of currency valuation changes.
And here’s no question manufacturing as a percent of GDP has certainly slipped in the US (and not to our advantage, but that’s a different discussion).
But even given that, in terms of how much the US produces, we still produce north of $2 trillion worth of manufactured goods every year.
That’s a really big number.
Now, how to get some of that back in the US printed circuit industry?