Inside America’s Industrial Boom
America has been seeing something of an industrial renaissance as of late as the sector has started to pick up steam in recent years and industrial output is at its highest since the 1990s.
With the large metropolitan areas that are leading the way in this industrial boom also being some of the top places that are generating the most jobs overall it is perhaps not surprising that industry has been closely linked to the upturn in America’s fortunes as of late.
The sector is still a long way off from making up the three million jobs that were lost during the recession but since then industrial jobs have grown by 330,000 and are steadily clawing back ground at a strong pace.
The energy boom appears to spurring on strong growth as job growth in metal fabrication, machinery and chemicals have all seen gains intrinsically linked to energy’s growth with Houston, Texas being a great example of this. Houston has always been a city built on oil but recent advancements and discoveries of shale gas has seen the energy sector striding forwards and in turn its industrial sector has also grown by 15%, since 2009, which is almost three times as fast as the overall economy. Industrial growth itself tends to drive growth, and thus job creation, in other sectors such as construction and professional and business services.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is also an energy driven city and a similar story has emerged from there where the number of industrial jobs is also up 15% since 2009 with the same dynamic also occurring in small metro areas across the country including Lafayette, Louisiana.; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Anchorage; Baton Rouge, La.; Anchorage, Alaska; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Bakersfield-Delano, California and Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas.
Of course, it’s not just the energy sector that has pushed the industrial one forwards the car industry has also been motoring along. This has been somewhat of a two pronged attack as the revival of fortunes in the American auto industry has seen them buying more from their suppliers and has seen a surge of activity around the Great Lakes areas. The foreign based firms have also seen expansion, mostly in the Mid-South and Southeast of the country as they also buy in more goods.
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Michigan has seen large benefits from this growth as has the quintessential manufacturing city of Detroit, also in Michigan, with the region seeing a transition into a high tech age that has seen the employment in the industrial sector increase 26% from 2009 through 2012.
The South has also seen considered gains in everything from aeronautics and space exploration to petrochemicals with big manufacturing areas such as Nashville, Tennessee and Virginia Beach, Virginia. The West has also seen good growth with its big movers and shakers like Microsoft, Starbucks and Boeing all adding to the 13% growth Seattle, Washington has seen since 2009. Needless to say, the growth seems to vast and widespread which is great news for the economy and workers alike.