Manufacturing globally doing more with fewer people: McKinsey report

A study from research firm McKinsey Global Institute, manufacturing is lifting global productivity and standards of living, but its contribution in terms of job numbers is decreasing.

A study from research firm McKinsey Global Institute, manufacturing is lifting global productivity and standards of living, but its contribution in terms of job numbers is decreasing.

“Manufacturing makes outsized contributions to GDP. It makes outsized contributions to overall productivity growth. It drives prosperity,” said James Manyika, a co-author of the report, in comments reported by the Washington Post.

McKinsey's study found that in the decade to 2010, manufacturing contributed 20 per cent to economic output globally, as well as 37 per cent to global productivity growth. On the other hand, "it subtracted 24 per cent from employment in advanced nations".

The Post suggests that changes in employment numbers came down to better technology and enhanced automation, as well as changing definitions of what constitutes a "manufacturing job".

For more on the study, including an executive summary and a copy of the report itself, click here.