The manufacturing sector has held steady in the US economy during the last two decades, maintaining about 300,000 facilities. Today this sector of the economy employs eleven million people and is responsible for slightly more than half of all export dollars.

Sectors of the manufacturing industry that are performing the best, in terms of shipment value, are: petroleum and coal products ($837 billion), chemical ($777 billion), food ($710 billion), and transportation equipment ($690 billion). From there, the size of the industry sectors, in terms of shipments, are considerably smaller, with the next category—machinery—clocking in with $366 billion in shipments, about half of the shipment value total of the equipment sector.

As well as being a large employer and exporter in the US economy, a worker in the manufacturing sector is paid, on average, 27 percent more than the average US worker’s salary. Manufacturing also spends more than $3 trillion on materials and almost $150 billion in capital expenditures.

It seems that the attention paid to the manufacturing sector in recent years has been worthwhile, and with off-shore manufacturing returning to the US, it seems like this industry is continuing to grow.