State of the Middle Class

Manufacturing

Once a world leader in goods production, the U.S. employed over 40% of its workforce in high-paying manufacturing, construction, and mining industries at the end of World War II. In times of national crisis, we could depend on ourselves.

At the end of 2023, we employ under 14% of our workforce in these same jobs.

In 1945 the United States had
> 0 %
of its workforce in high paying industries
In 2023 the United States had
< 0 %
of its workforce in high paying industries

This drop in American jobs has occurred at the same time that the U.S. is being outproduced by its competitors in many of the most critical manufacturing sectors, such as automobile, steel, and aluminum production. In the global economy, production is an asset to a single nation, and we are moving the needle away from self-sufficiency, which has impacted those who live and work in the U.S.

Manufacturing, Construction and Mining Employment in the U.S.

YearMillions of Jobs% of Total Jobs
194516.340.2%
196019.335.9%
198024.326.8%
200024.718.7%
202020.114.2%
Nov 202321.613.8%

Manufacturing Employment in the U.S. (Not including construction or mining)

YearMillions of Jobs% of All Jobs
196015.027.9%
198018.620.5%
2000
17.113.0%
2020
12.28.6%
Dec 202313.08.2%

Total Vehicle Production by Country

YearUSAChinaJapanGermanySouth KoreaIndiaRussia
202210,060,33927,020,6167,835,5193,677,8203,757,049
5,456,857608,460
20208,822,39925,225,2428,067,5573,742,4543,506,7743,394,4461,435,335
200012,799,8572,069,06910,140,7695.526,6153,114,998801,3601,205,581

Steel Production (Millions of tons)

YearU.S.China
202286.01,032.8
202072.71,064.7
2000102.2128.5
195087.80.616
We produced more steel in 1950 when our population was only 152 million compared to our current population of 330 million. 

Aluminum Production (Millions of tons)

YearU.S.China
20220.8038.80
20201.0137.08
20003.672.80
19500.540.002

Vehicle Production by Type of Vehicle & Country (2021)

CountryCarsLCVHCVBusses
USA1,563,0607,315,903288,2510
China21,407,9632,171,5462,408,09494,618
Japan6,619,242708,524516,9882,201
Germany3,096,165212,527ConfidentialConfidential
South Korea3,162,727227,67365,8956,109
India3,631,095486,911246,40734,699
Russia1,352,740130,93668,93713,704
LCV – Light Commercial vehicles 
HCV – Heavy Commercial vehicles 
*NOTE: Bus production for the U.S. is considered as part of Light Commercial Vehicle production
Goods Sector

This figure sums the total amount of employees working in manufacturing, construction or mining and is divided by the total number of employees in the U.S. at that specific period.

Percent Manufacturing Jobs in the U.S.

This figure takes the total amount of employees working in manufacturing and is divided by the total number of employees in the U.S. at that specific period. Despite there being a significantly smaller workforce in 1960, there were still nearly 20% more manufacturing employees than there are today.