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Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy

Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by John R. Bryson, Jennifer Clark and Vida Vanchan

This interdisciplinary volume provides a critical and multi-disciplinary review of current manufacturing processes, practices, and policies, and broadens our understanding of production and innovation in the world economy. Chapters highlight how firms and industries modify existing processes to produce for established and emerging markets through dynamic and design-driven strategies. This approach allows readers to view transformations in production systems and processes across sectors, technologies and industries. Contributors include scholars ranging from engineering to policy to economic geography. The evidence demonstrates that manufacturing continues to matter in the world economy.

Chapter 27: The city and industry: deurbanizing manufacturing in New York City?

Lynn McCormick

Subjects: business and management, strategic management, geography, economic geography, urban and regional studies, regional studies


In the 1950s, New York City was the largest manufacturing hub in the United States, employing over one million workers in this sector (Liff, 1997). Today, manufacturers in the city employ about 75,000 people, or less than 3 percent of all local workers (Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), 2011). Planners and policymakers face a question of whether to attempt to retain the manufacturing that remains or let it go and foster service sector expansion instead. This mirrors a larger debate in the United States as a whole. Is manufacturing an obsolete activity in a mature economy, one that is more competitive in, and appropriate for, lower-wage and relatively underdeveloped countries? Or, should US workers retain the manufacturing skills that are left and upgrade them with advanced technologies? Public officials and other stakeholders in New York City are energetically debating these questions today – whether to retain manufacturing or not.

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