As a nation, we're making and selling way more stuff than we were a few decades ago. But we're doing it with far fewer people.
In other words, even as U.S. manufacturing jobs have largely disappeared, U.S. manufacturing output has risen sharply.
Two recent posts from Mark Perry at Carpe Diem make this point. First, a chart:
Then, a case in point: A robot-driven warehouse that triples output per worker, according to the company selling the system.
You don't have to watch the whole thing. But I'd suggest watching until you get to the speeded-up part about 45 seconds in, where you really see the robots in action:
For more on productivity: Listen to the podcast where we interviewed an efficiency expert.