Furniture Company's Revival Has Global Message
That same point was made in a 2011 report by The Boston Consulting Group that estimated that "reshoring" by companies could result in 2 to 3 million new jobs. About a quarter would be directly in manufacturing, and the rest would work for suppliers or service industries.
Furniture, the report said, is among the seven areas where this is most likely to occur. The costs of shipping bulky products and the ample supply of wood in the U.S. make it a prime candidate for domestic manufacturing; China has to import wood.
"The pendulum is swinging," says Hal Sirkin, the report's lead author. He says wages are rising 15-to-20 percent a year in China and U.S. workers are, on average, more than three times as productive
The report predicts that by 2015, these industries will likely reach a "tipping point" where the cost advantages of China will have shrunk to a point where U.S. companies may see it's to their benefit to return production or set up a new base here."It's still early," Sirkin says. "We don't know all this is going to happen, but companies are starting because the economics are starting to look favorable. I was surprised to see it happening as quickly as it is." It is happening at a time when Americans â¿¿ historically proud of the nation's manufacturing might â¿¿ are showing frustration with the migration of those jobs to China and elsewhere. An ABC News/Washington Post poll in February found that nearly 75 percent of those surveyed favor raising taxes on businesses that move manufacturing jobs overseas. In January, President Barack Obama hosted a White House forum on in-sourcing, featuring small and large companies that have invested in the U.S. And in his State of the Union speech, Obama called for an economy "built on American manufacturing." He said the resurgence of the U.S. auto industry "should give us confidence."
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