Manufacturing labor costs per hour: China, Vietnam, Mexico 2016-2020
Manufacturing jobs in the United States
Many people in the United States believe manufacturing jobs to be the backbone of the U.S. economy, despite employment in the manufacturing sector decreasing since 1997, and the monthly change in manufacturing employment being highly variable. Although manufacturing added a value of about 10 percent to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, employment in the United States has been moving away from manufacturing to other means of employment.
A difference in earnings
Part of this steering away from manufacturing could be due to a difference in labor costs. While hourly wages in Vietnam were less than three U.S. dollars in 2018, hourly wages in the U.S. manufacturing sector hovered around 27 U.S. dollars in 2018. The labor costs in the U.S. could simply be too high for companies, who look to countries such as China, Mexico, and Vietnam for cheaper labor.