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The American Workplace - Movement Of Work

labor workers population civilian

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Whereas a generation ago many of the goods sold in the United States had been produced by American workers as well, the labor market in the early twenty-first century presents a different picture. In an effort to maximize profits, many companies now "outsource" production (pay another company to manufacture something that its workers once made) or move work "offshore" (relocate the manufacture of an item from the United States to an overseas location where labor and material costs are cheaper).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in "Mass Layoff Statistics Data in the United States and Domestic and Oversees Relocation" (http://www.bls.gov/mls/mlsrelocation.pdf), 6,181 layoff events occurred during 2003, affecting approximately 1.2 million workers. Fifteen TABLE 2.1 Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population, 1940–2005percent of these layoff events were permanent, due mainly to company restructuring. These closures affected 210,903 workers. The industries that were most affected were those involved in the manufacture of computer and electronic products, machinery, textiles, and clothing.

TABLE 2.1
Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population, 1940–2005
[Numbers in thousands]
Year Civilian noninstitutional population Civilian labor force Not in labor force
Total Percent of population Employed Unemployed
Total Percent of population Agriculture Nonagricultural industries Number Percent of labor force
Persons 14 years of age and over
1940 99,840 55,640 55.7 47,520 47.6 9,540 37,980 8,120 14.6 44,200
1941 99,900 55,910 56.0 50,350 50.4 9,100 41,250 5,560 9.9 43,990
1942 98,640 56,410 57.2 53,750 54.5 9,250 44,500 2,660 4.7 42,230
1943 94,640 55,540 58.7 54,470 57.6 9,080 45,390 1,070 1.9 39,100
1944 93,220 54,630 58.6 53,960 57.9 8,950 45,010 670 1.2 38,590
1945 94,090 53,860 57.2 52,820 56.1 8,580 44,240 1,040 1.9 40,230
1946 103,070 57,520 55.8 55,250 53.6 8,320 46,930 2,270 3.9 45,550
1947 106,018 60,168 56.8 57,812 54.5 8,256 49,557 2,356 3.9 45,850
Persons 16 years of age and over
1947 101,827 59,350 58.3 57,038 56.0 7,890 49,148 2,311 3.9 42,477
1948 103,068 60,621 58.8 58,343 56.6 7,629 50,714 2,276 3.8 42,447
1949 103,994 61,286 58.9 57,651 55.4 7,658 49,993 3,637 5.9 42,708
1950 104,995 62,208 59.2 58,918 56.1 7,160 51,758 3,288 5.3 42,787
1951 104,621 62,017 59.2 59,961 57.3 6,726 53,235 2,055 3.3 42,604
1952 105,231 62,138 59.0 60,250 57.3 6,500 53,749 1,883 3.0 43,093
1953* 107,056 63,015 58.9 61,179 57.1 6,260 54,919 1,834 2.9 44,041
1954 108,321 63,643 58.8 60,109 55.5 6,205 53,904 3,532 5.5 44,678
1955 109,683 65,032 59.3 62,170 56.7 6,450 55,722 2,852 4.4 44,660
1956 110,954 66,552 60.0 63,799 57.5 6,283 57,514 2,750 4.1 44,402
1957 112,265 66,929 59.6 64,071 57.1 5,947 58,123 2,859 4.3 45,336
1958 113,727 67,639 59.5 63,036 55.4 5,586 57,450 4,602 6.8 46,088
1959 115,329 68,369 59.3 64,630 56.0 5,565 59,065 3,740 5.5 46,960
1960* 117,245 69,628 59.4 65,778 56.1 5,458 60,318 3,852 5.5 47,617
1961 118,771 70,459 59.3 65,746 55.4 5,200 60,546 4,714 6.7 48,312
1962* 120,153 70,614 58.8 66,702 55.5 4,944 61,759 3,911 5.5 49,539
1963 122,416 71,833 58.7 67,762 55.4 4,687 63,076 4,070 5.7 50,583
1964 124,485 73,091 58.7 69,305 55.7 4,523 64,782 3,786 5.2 51,394
1965 126,513 74,455 58.9 71,088 56.2 4,361 66,726 3,366 4.5 52,058
1966 128,058 75,770 59.2 72,895 56.9 3,979 68,915 2,875 3.8 52,288
1967 129,874 77,347 59.6 74,372 57.3 3,844 70,527 2,975 3.8 52,527
1968 132,028 78,737 59.6 75,920 57.5 3,817 72,103 2,817 3.6 53,291
1969 134,335 80,734 60.1 77,902 58.0 3,606 74,296 2,832 3.5 53,602
1970 137,085 82,771 60.4 78,678 57.4 3,463 75,215 4,093 4.9 54,315
1971 140,216 84,382 60.2 79,367 56.6 3,394 75,972 5,016 5.9 55,834
1972* 144,126 87,034 60.4 82,153 57.0 3,484 78,669 4.882 5.6 57,091
1973* 147,096 89,429 60.8 85,064 57.8 3,470 81,594 4,365 4.9 57,667
1974 150,120 91,949 61.3 86,794 57.8 3,515 83,279 5,156 5.6 58,171
1975 153,153 93,774 61.2 85,846 56.1 3,408 82,438 7,929 8.5 59,377
1976 156,150 96,158 61.6 88,752 56.8 3,331 85,421 7,406 7.7 59,991
1977 159,033 99,008 62.3 92,017 57.9 3,283 88,734 6,991 7.1 60,025
1978* 161,910 102,250 63.2 96,048 59.3 3,387 92,661 6,202 6.1 59,659
1979 164,863 104,962 63.7 98,824 59.9 3,347 95,477 6,137 5.8 59,900
1990 167,745 106,940 63.8 99,302 59.2 3,364 95,938 7,637 7.1 60,806
1981 170,130 108,670 63.9 100,397 59.0 3,368 97,030 8,273 7.6 61,460
1982 172,271 110,204 64.0 99,526 57.8 3,401 96,125 10,678 9.7 62,067
1983 174,215 111,550 64.0 100,834 57.9 3,383 97,450 10,717 9.6 62,665
1984 176,383 113,544 64.4 105,005 59.5 3,321 101,685 8,539 7.5 62,839
1985 178,206 115,461 64.8 107,150 60.1 3,179 103,971 8,312 7.2 62,744
1986* 180,587 117,834 65.3 109,597 60.7 3,163 106,434 8,237 7.0 62,752
1987 182,753 119,865 65.6 112,440 61.5 3,208 109,232 7,425 6.2 62,888
1988 184,613 121,669 65.9 114,968 62.3 3,169 111,800 6,701 5.5 62,944
1989 186,393 123,869 66.5 117,342 63.0 3,199 114,142 6,528 5.3 62,523

Overseas relocation of business affected 13,000 workers in manufacturing industries in 2003 (representing 9% of all layoffs). Over 40% of these relocations were to Mexico.

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