More Stuff, Less People Required

tags: manufacturing

From a 2011 study entitled The Case of the Disappearing Large Employer Manufacturing Plants:

[…] the dramatic disappearance of large employers is neither mysterious nor surprising. Most of the missing large employers from 1997 are still open, only with fewer employees.

A stark example from the introduction:

[…] the steel plant in Gary with 30,000 workers in 1950. The plant is still in operation, but […] its current employment is down to 5,000. Remarkably, with one-sixth as many workers, the plant produces even more steel now than in 1950, as capacity has increased from 6 million to 7.5 million tons a year.

Simply put, we can now make more stuff with less people.

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