The year of 2009 saw a resurgence of growth in the manufacturing industry after decades of decline. The industry is revitalizing itself, but not all manufacturer fields saw an equal amount of growth. Sectors that create or rely on metal bending and metalworking machinery are thriving more than others. Construction and other heavy industries are still relevant, but the biggest growth is in the automotive industry and various high-tech fields.
Vehicles Are Still Popular
The automotive industry is perhaps the greatest beneficiary of this growth. Many were worried about the concept of “peak cars” years ago. This fear was due to the perception that Americans owned too many vehicles. Industries believed the populace had reached a saturation level where it was no longer profitable to mass produce cars as they had been before. Americans are, in fact, approaching this level, but we’re not there yet. There are also other factors at work to keep America invested in car ownership.
The reduction and stability of oil prices in recent years spurred investment into the vehicle industry. Population density is less concentrated in urban areas, too, and is spreading outwards into the suburbs and rural areas. These outward expansion trends increase travel time between points of interests and make owning a car almost mandatory. The continued demand for transportation and low prices of oil give value to purchasing a newer vehicle.
Massive Growth in the Midwest
Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan’s automotive producers are growing their workforce sizes and plummeting the local unemployment rate at the same time. Growth rates over the last decade range anywhere from 25 percent to 37 percent.
Detroit holds the record for the largest growth in sheer numbers. Its automotive workforce grew just shy of 31 percent, which is about the median of all growth rates, but it’s the sheer number of people that makes this figure impressive. The Louisville area in Kentucky, which saw the highest growth rate at 37 percent, is home to roughly 60,000 jobs. Detroit now has 240,000 from a prior 149,000.
Technology Is the Future
Silicon Valley is currently experiencing a small boom despite the high cost of living and the burst of the dot-com bubble. Traditional computer processors have a theoretical limit to the power they can provide; we’re quickly reaching that limit now. The solution to this problem directs the focus of research and development to computer companies. The challenges these companies face, concerning packing more processing power into smaller spaces, require innovative solutions.
Current research that attempts to overcome obstacles comes from cutting-edge developments in theoretical physics. Companies are hiring young and bright minds to solve these problems and many others that arise from dealing with the digital world. Technological developments from this research will play a significant role in the evolution of computers and the “internet of things.”
Aerospace and innovative companies, like Tesla, are also seeing plenty of growth with the manufacturing revival. The bulk of the growth remains in the automotive industry and others that rely on technology to manipulate metal. Quantum Machinery Group specializes in metalworking machinery that enables manufacturing industries to thrive and prosper.