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July 25, 2006

Manufacturing moving up

With plants closing and overseas factories selling their products here, we are used to hearing bad news about manufacturing. But N.C. State University's Mike Walden says that U.S. manufacturing has actually been on a roll lately.

"The latest figures show that U.S. manufacturing productivity growth exceeded that growth we saw in previous periods after a recession," says Dr. Walden, an economics professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

"What’s happening, I think, is that U.S. manufacturers worked really hard in the last decade to trim a lot of the fat, so to speak, to become more competitive. And now what they are doing is they are applying information technology and other measures to really boost their output to input ratios.

"And this is exactly what we need U.S. manufacturing to do to compete in the world’s market place," Walden concludes. "We are never going to have the cheapest labor, but what we can have is the most productive labor in manufacturing."

Posted by deeshore at July 25, 2006 08:00 AM