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Showcasing American Manufacturing With U.S. Census Bureau Data

Fri Oct 07 2016
John H. Thompson
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Today is Manufacturing Day, a nationwide observance of the businesses and workers that manufacture everything from textiles to machinery to food. It’s also an opportunity to showcase an important sector of the U.S. economy. Manufacturers are America’s fourth-largest employer — with 11.4 million employees across the nation and an annual payroll of $639.9 billion — and produce trillions of dollars in shipments annually.

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This week, we’ve featured Census Bureau data on manufacturing here on Part of the mission of Manufacturing Day is to address common misconceptions about manufacturing. As the premiere source of statistics on the American economy, the Census Bureau is in a unique position to be able to use data to show the state of manufacturing today.

For example, findings from the economic census provide detail on the number of manufacturing establishments, employment, payroll, receipts, value of shipments, expenses, assets and many other topics on 364 manufacturing industries. The Annual Survey of Manufactures provides sample estimates of statistics for manufacturing establishments. We have monthly reports on Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories, and Orders and Manufacturing and Trade Inventory and Sales, as well as other monthly, quarterly and annual reports on a host of subjects.

Through Census Bureau data sources — in this case, the Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3) report — we know that new orders for manufactured durable goods in August 2016 increased by $0.7 billion, or 0.2 percent, to $453.1 billion. We also know that, according to the 2014 Annual Survey of Manufactures, transportation equipment manufacturing has the most employees (1.42 million) and the largest value of shipments ($903.3 billion), and that the three states with the most manufacturing employees in 2014 were California, Texas and Ohio — with California topping the list with 1.11 million manufacturing employees.

These data, and many more, can help businesses plan and grow. Through blog posts and infographics, we’ve given you an inside look at trends in employment and receipts, how manufacturing contributes to international trade, and many more topics.

Check it all out at Manufacturing Day page. Happy Manufacturing Day!

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