Can Robots Revive U.S. Manufacturing?

Heading into the 20th century, America was a predominantly rural country. Roughly 40% of the nation’s labor force toiled on farms alongside 22 million work animals. One hundred years later, fewer than 2% of U.S. workers are employed on farms, and those beasts of burden have been replaced by 5 million gas-powered tractors.

Of course, the cause of this transformation was a technological revolution that lured workers from farms to more lucrative employment in urban areas. Simultaneously, farming became more efficient and needed less labor to produce the same amount of food.

The U.S. manufacturing sector has been going through a similar transformation over the past 70 years.

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