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Manufacturing in the US: Why close counts


You may wonder, does it really matter if products are “Made in the USA?” Before you answer, let us share a few statistics:

In 2018, manufacturing contributed $2.33 trillion to the US economy, 11.6% of total US economic output.

  • The US has 12.75 million manufacturing jobs, accounting for 8.5% of the workforce.
  • Each dollar spent in manufacturing adds $1.89 in business growth in other supporting sectors.
  • Manufactured goods are responsible for half of US exports.
  • U.S. manufacturing produces 18.2% of the world's goods.
  • Currently, 37% of manufacturers would prefer to locate in the US, up from just 19% in 2011.
  • Manufacturing is forecast to increase faster than the general economy.
  • Manufacturing jobs pay 12% more than all others.


Not what you expected, right? Anybody who tells you that Americans no longer make things might want to take a look at The Balance, where I found all these facts and figures, along with links to their original sources. It’s a fascinating article, and while I admit I’ve cherry-picked the data a little, overall, the outlook is quite good for manufacturers here.

There are many reasons “Made in the USA” is more than an empty slogan. As a US manufacturer, we find that the advantages of manufacturing here at home include:

  • Located manufacturing facilities close to your customer base can reduce distribution times and costs, as well as allow you to react more quickly to changes in market demand. It’s certainly easier and more efficient to serve the huge North American market from US-based locations than from overseas.
  • A domestic supply chain is often more adaptable and flexible than using offshore suppliers, with the ability to meet shorter lead times at a comparable cost. Local supply chains also allow faster, easier communication and collaboration among customers, developers and manufacturers, as well as help reduce the risk of intellectual property theft.
  • American workers are proud and productive. Even as the total number of manufacturing jobs in the US has decreased in recent years, manufacturing output—the value of US-made goods—has increased substantially; in both cases, mostly the result of technology-enabled productivity increases.

As important as quality and cost considerations, we understand that “Made in the USA” means jobs for Americans and stronger, more stable communities. As a family owned and operated business for more than half a century, UNEX has always chosen to manufacture in the US and will continue to do so.

UNEX Manufacturing manufactures our award-winning Material Handling and Order Picking systems in the US in our state-of-the-art factory in New Jersey. While competitors chose to manufacture overseas, UNEX recognizes that the quality of materials and labor, along with the company’s family-oriented culture, makes our decision to manufacture in the US quite easy. Employees and management collaborate and innovate to find the optimum solutions to our customers’ challenges. Keeping manufacturing in the US helps UNEX foster the American spirit of family, quality and productivity.