Washington Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby correctly identified world-leading productivity as the foundation of a new “heyday” for American business [ Why U.S. Business Is Winning].
But he’s wrong to say that “American business is not especially good at coaxing productivity out of factory workers.” In fact, U.S. manufacturing’s productivity has soared a dizzying 24 percent since 2001. That’s 76 percent higher than the 13.6 percent productivity growth for all non-farm businesses, and it was the primary reason our manufacturing sector comfortably outgrew the overall economy in both 2004 and 2005.
Innovative U.S. manufacturing now produces and exports more than ever before, albeit with fewer workers. America’s economy would struggle to grow without a healthy manufacturing sector.