Manufacturing has a long history in the United States, and until the early 20th century, most companies were doing all their work in-house. As times changed and costs rose, many enterprises in the manufacturing sector and beyond started hiring independent contractors for specialized services.
During the industrial revolution, many of those contractors were located in the same area, but as the economy became more global, manufacturers started looking overseas for cheaper alternatives.
When it became clear that the lower cost of labor in other countries made up for the extra shipping costs, many manufacturing operations moved out of the country.
Outsourcing is growing in popularity, both in this country and overseas. It’s becoming more rare to work for one company throughout your career, and the current gig economy offers plenty of contractors to choose from. However, there is a trend toward reshoring manufacturing, and bringing your operations home has its own advantages—many of which were highlighted in the wake of COVID-19.