We’ve all seen the sci-fi futuristic films where automation and robots replace the human workforce. While this may be a realistic fear for many in manufacturing, there is good news on the horizon. As companies add more robots to North American factory floors, the number of human jobs in manufacturing is also increasing. In April of this year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 12.4 million Americans worked in manufacturing. That number is up more than 25,000 jobs since 2016, and close to a million from early 2010.
One reason for the increase: Last year, for the first time in decades, more manufacturing jobs came back to the United States than left, according to data from the Reshoring Initiative, a firm that endeavors to bring jobs back to the U.S. The majority of reshored jobs — about 60 percent from 2010 through 2016 — came from China, according to the report, where labor has become more expensive. That’s all very good news for American businesses and Americans working in manufacturing.