Michael HIcks (Photo: Photo provided by Ball State University)
From time to time it is helpful to think hard about Indiana’s manufacturing economy—what’s been happening to it, where it is going and what the future may hold. This is an election year, which brings with it a series of sordid untruths that need to be rectified. Moreover, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic holds a long-term prognosis for factory production and employment in Indiana.
To begin, I want to slay the biggest myth that surrounds the manufacturing industry, which is that it is in decline. With the exception of a recession, the trend has been inexorably positive. In inflation-adjusted dollars, factory production in the United States peaked in 2019. However, factory employment has been declining since 1979.
Last year, we in the U.S. produced 170 more manufactured good that we did