Published on: Monday, October 8, 2012

U.S. manufacturers bringing factory jobs home

 
 

EAST LANSING, Mich., Oct. 8, 2012 (LID) – The U.S. manufacturing base appears poised for growth, after years of manufacturers hemorrhaging jobs to Asia and Latin America, among other less costly labor markets, researchers found.

Tobias Schoenherr

Schoenherr

The study found manufacturers that have set up their factory operations overseas are rethinking their stays.

Researchers’ survey of 319 manufacturers indicated 40 percent of the firms believe there is an increased movement of manufacturing operations back to the United States, particularly from China and India.

Meanwhile, 38 percent of manufacturers surveyed indicated that their direct competitors have reshored.

“We were surprised by the large percentage of firms indicating that they are considering reshoring,” Michigan State University Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management Tobias Schoenherr said.

Schoenherr and the report’s three coauthors noted that higher costs overseas and mounting political uncertainty abroad is giving U.S. companies reason to repatriate their manufacturing operations.

“Going overseas is not the panacea that it was thought of just a decade or so ago,” Schoenherr said. “Companies have realized the challenges and thus are moving back to the United States.”

The tide of companies reshoring is led by the aerospace-defense and the industrial parts sectors, the report noted.

“From my communication with some firms, I also sense a genuine desire to help the U.S. economy and to bring back jobs,” Schoenherr said.

The report, sponsored by the Lombard, Ill.-based Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, was coauthored by Schoenherr, Wendy Tate and Kenneth Petersen of the University of Tennessee and Lisa Ellram of Ohio’s Miami University.

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