State your case: Report finds manufacturing, logistics key to economic growth
Despite heavy job losses in the last year, the nation's manufacturing and logistics industries—considered cornerstones of the U.S. economy—continue to provide a key source of growth, says a report from Ball State University.
In the 2009 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card , Ball State researchers grade each state in seven functional areas with industry-specific information: human capital, benefits cost, global reach, productivity and innovation, and tax climate.
The top states are Utah, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas and Alabama; at the bottom are Alaska, Maine, New York, West Virginia, and Rhode Island.
"This report represents a snapshot of the health of manufacturing and logistics today, but it also offers a road map to state policymakers who are unhappy with the growth of these industries in their states," says Michael Hicks, director of Ball State's Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER). "We know that the American manufacturing industry is evolving as a result of technology-centered productivity enhancements and investment from international corporations building or expanding facilities to reach the American consumer."
The report was prepared by CBER at the request of Conexus Indiana , the state's advanced manufacturing initiative.
"Manufacturing continues to be a foundation industry for many states while the manufacturing supply chain, along with growing international trade, increases the importance of logistics firms in the overall health of our economy," says Hicks. "The recession has been tough—and especially tough on manufacturing—but as the economy recovers, so too will manufacturing."
Indiana, Michigan, Kansas, Ohio, and Nebraska received A’s for manufacturing while Alaska, New York, and Virginia were given F’s.
Hicks found the research indicated some regional differences. Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio were the only states to receive A’s in the global position category while most of the D’s and F’s were found in the West.
"The Midwest enjoyed a surprisingly strong showing in global position, which included exports and various measures of foreign direct investment," says Hicks. "Human capital scores in the South and Midwest lagged the nation as a whole, while the cost of worker benefits was lowest in the Mountain West states and the South."
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey