US manufacturers eye re-shoring in greater number

The Great Recession led the United States to hemorrhage jobs, many of which went overseas. Lower labor costs in foreign markets caused a slew of domestic companies to shift operations across borders, but as the national economy gains steam and the manufacturing industry becomes increasingly competitive and productive, firms are eyeing the opportunity to move jobs back to the United States.

"Re-shoring," as its called, has already led high-profile names like Apple and Ford to bring jobs back to the States. Now, more companies are considering the prospects of re-shoring, according to a recent study. With jobs coming back stateside, firms with open positions can work with manufacturing recruiters to locate the best American talent for the job.

One-third considering re-shoring
A recent study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Forum for Supply Chain Innovation found companies are increasingly looking to re-shoring as a way to cut costs and improve efficiency.

The U.S. Re-Shoring: A Turning Point survey polled 340 businesses, 198 of which were manufacturing-only companies and 156 were U.S.-based. Around 33 percent of all respondents said they were "considering" bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States. While one-third are debating the move, 15 percent said they were "definitively" in the process of returning jobs from their time abroad.

Overall, business in computers and electronics represented the largest proportion of respondents, 19.2 percent. Manufacturing-only industries with similarly strong participatory rates include food and beverage (10.6 percent) and chemicals (8.1 percent). Other manufacturing firms constituted 27.8 percent of respondents.

Among the driving factors businesses cited in their decision to re-shore, time-to-market was the most common, as 73 percent of respondents mentioned it. Around 64 percent said cost reductions spurred the move; 62 percent said the same about product quality; 56.8 percent said more control over operations; 51 percent identified hidden supply chain management costs; and 48 said they re-shored in an effort to protect intellectual property.

Manufacturers said the federal government could do more to incentivize other companies into bringing jobs back to the country. Nearly 70 percent said a reduced corporate tax rate would move others to re-shore, while 66 percent lobbied for more tax credits and 43 percent said better education and skills training would make re-shoring more attractive to their business.

"Our survey indicates a significant shift in manufacturing footprint," said David Simchi-Levi, founder of the MIT Forum. "It suggests that we are in the middle of a transformation from a global manufacturing strategy."

Companies taking action to re-shore employment can work with manufacturing recruiters to significantly improve their prospects of landing the most qualified workers in the country.