The Emerging Contours of Rural Manufacturing

Authored by: Stuart A. Rosenfeld , Timothy R. Wojan

Routledge International Handbook of Rural Studies

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138804371
eBook ISBN: 9781315753041
Adobe ISBN: 9781317619864


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In most advanced national economies, a political consensus is forming that manufacturing is vital to growth. Not only does manufacturing affect direct and indirect employment, but it disproportionately contributes to exports, innovation, and research and development. In these advanced economies, manufacturing accounts for 70% of global trade, 77% of private sector R&D, and 37% of productivity growth (Manyika et al., 2012). Every dollar or euro of manufacturing output requires 19 cents in service inputs. But what is produced in these economies and how it is produced is in a state of flux. Increased competition for routine operations that rely on low-skilled labour has forced many manufacturers to either automate or outsource, reducing proportions of employment in manufacturing. In manufacturing sectors able to compete, labour has shifted towards more technical and creative competencies and higher proportions of service jobs.

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