Why Buy Made in USA? / Part 2

The American consumer goods industry is worth approximately $2 trillion dollars, and is divided into two segments: durables, and nondurables (U.S. Census, 2012). Nondurable goods are different from durable goods, in that they typically need to be replaced or consumed within a three year period, while durable goods are items that do not need to be replaced often like appliances, or cars (U.S. Census, 2012). In 2011, the typical American spent about $13,588 a year on nondurable items, which include popular household expenditures such as food, beverages, gas, clothing, prescription and nonprescription drugs, personal care products, and housekeeping supplies (U.S. Department of Labor, 2014). According to the last U.S. Census report, these items comprise a large portion of the consumer goods category, noting that American manufacturers shipped nearly $1.75 trillion dollars worth of nondurable merchandise in 2010 alone (U.S. Census, 2012).

However, despite the aforementioned demand for consumer goods, only 11.5 million Americans were still manufacturing these products as of 2010 (U.S. Census, 2012). Of this group, approximately 4.5 million were employed by manufacturers of nondurable consumer goods, down over 30 percent from the previous decade (U.S. Census, 2012). In fact, every segment of the nondurable manufacturing industry saw double-digit employment cutbacks from 2000-2010, except for pharmaceuticals, which saw a small increase of less than one percent (U.S. Census, 2012). According to the U.S. Census (2012), the hardest hit industries from 2000-2010 were: fabric mills, which now employ only 53,000 people (down 72.5 percent), apparel factories, which now employ only 125,000 people (down 67.2 percent), leather-goods manufacturers, which now employ only 28,000 people (down 59.6 percent), and paper mills, which now employ only 113,000 people (down 41.1 percent). To be continued.