Industry - Declining Industries

Declining Industries

Historically certain manufacturing industries have gone into a decline due to various economic factors, including the development of replacement technology or the loss of competitive advantage. An example of the former is the decline in carriage manufacturing when the automobile was mass-produced.

A recent trend has been the migration of prosperous, industrialized nations toward a post-industrial society. This is manifested by an increase in the service sector at the expense of manufacturing, and the development of an information-based economy, the so-called informational revolution. In a post-industrial society, manufacturing is relocated to economically more favourable locations through a process of off-shoring.

The major difficulty for people looking to measure manufacturing industries outputs and economic effect is finding a measurement which is stable historically. Traditionally, success has been measured in the number of jobs created. The lowering of employee numbers in the manufacturing sector has been assumed to be caused by a decline in the competitiveness of the sector although much has been caused by the introduction of the lean manufacturing process. Eventually, this will lead to competing product lines being managed by one of two people, as is already the case in the cigarette manufacturing industry.

Related to this change is the upgrading of the quality of the product being manufactured. While it is easy to produce a low tech, low skill product, the ability to manufacture high quality products is limited to companies with a high skilled staff.

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