Factoryless Goods Producers in the US
31 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2013
Date Written: June 1, 2013
This paper documents the extent and characteristics of plants and firms in the US that are outside the manufacturing sector according to official government statistics but nonetheless are heavily involved in activities related to the production of manufactured goods. Using new data on establishment activities in the Census of Wholesale Trade conducted by the US Bureau of the Census in 2002 and 2007, this paper provides evidence on so-called “factoryless goods producers” (FGPs) in the US economy. FGPs are formally in the wholesale sector but, unlike traditional wholesale establishments, FGPs design the goods they sell and coordinate the production activities. This paper documents the extent of FGPs in the wholesale sector and their employment, wages, productivity and output. Reclassifying FGP establishments to the manufacturing sector would have increased manufacturing employment anywhere from 595,000 to 1,311,000 workers in 2002 and from 431,000 to 1,934,000 workers in 2007.
Keywords: product design, offshoring, outsourcing, wholesale plants and firms, manufacturing plants and firms, contract manufacturing services
JEL Classification: L23, F61, L24, L81, D22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation