Barack Obama and Mitt Romney tell voters they want manufacturers to stay in America and create new jobs. The president even promised an audience in New Hampshire that he’d create 4.5 million new jobs, half of those in manufacturing.
Why all the talk about manufacturing?
Our country is the world’s largest manufacturing economy with 21 percent of the global manufactured goods produced here. China is second at 15 percent, and Japan is third at 12 percent.
U.S. manufacturing supports an estimated 18.6 million jobs, with one in six people employed in plants and factories. In Washington, 256,600 people work in manufacturing.
The largest manufacturing employer in our state is Boeing, with 80,000 people, but plants and factories are scattered across our state. For example, Schweitzer Engineering Labs, founded in Pullman 30 years ago, employs 3,500 people.
Manufacturing jobs pay well. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, manufacturing employees earn an average of $77,186 per year.