Manufacturing is enjoying a resurgence in the United States

After years of falling output and a diminishing percentage of the labor force, the last few years have seen renewed growth. According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the catalysts for this revival include factors such as the strengthening economy, workforce quality, tax policies, the regulatory environment, and transportation and energy costs

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Yet in order to move forward, it is important to see how American manufacturing compares to that of other nations. In this report, we develop a global manufacturing scorecard that looks at five dimensions of the manufacturing environment: 1) overall policies and regulations; 2) tax policy; 3) energy, transportation, and health costs; 4) workforce quality; and 5) infrastructure and innovation.

For the analysis, we compiled data on 20 indicators and scored 19 leading nations on a 100-point scale. The countries analyzed included Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.

The top ranked nations in overall manufacturing environment were the United Kingdom and Switzerland (both with 78 points out of 100), followed by the United States (77 points), Japan (74 points), and Canada (74 points). We found these nations performed well due to their policies, cost considerations, workforce investments, and infrastructure.

At the low end were nations such as Brazil (51 points), Indonesia (53 points), Mexico (56 points), Russia (56 points), and India (57 points). Generally, these places do not have advantageous tax policies and are not making adequate investments in education or infrastructure.

In addition, we compiled data on manufacturing output, manufacturing employment, and changes overtime. China is the top nation in terms of manufacturing output and the percentage of its national output that is generated by that sector. Poland meanwhile has the highest percentage of its workforce employed in manufacturing, followed by Germany, Italy, Turkey, and South Korea