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Industry Spotlight: Manufacturing Sector

Jobs in the manufacturing sector is a frequent and controversial topic among politicians and journalists. Recent research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis highlights the complexity of the industry as it relates to employment and productivity. The recent Economic Synopses essay Manufacturing and Service Sector Roles in the Evolution of Innovation and Productivity found that, since 2003, the contributions of the service sector to employment and value added outweighed those of the manufacturing sector. However, manufacturing is still the largest sector of the economy as measured by exports, innovation, and productivity growth. Additionally, expansions in world trade over the past 15 years have been driven by manufacturing. Ultimately, while employment in manufacturing declines and jobs in the service sector and elsewhere increase, manufacturing still plays a key role in driving the U.S. economy.