BOSTON, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. manufacturing sector is showing signs that it could add as many as 5 million jobs by 2020, a report shows.
The Boston Consulting Group is set to release a report Tuesday that says "outsourcing" production to China, will switch to "reshoring" production back to the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The report says manufacturing could add 2.5 million to 5 million jobs by 2020. The higher number could shave 2 or 3 percentage points off the unemployment rate, which now stands at 7.4 percent.
The manufacturing sector has lost about 5 million jobs in the past 20 years, currently employing 12 million, the Journal said.
One outcome of the 2007-09 recession, however, was stagnant labor costs. In addition, the United States has experienced a significant gain in energy production, the Journal said. Both of these factors have boosted domestic manufacturing.
In a separate report, economist Ernest Preeg at the Manufacturing Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, a group funded by the industry, said the trade gap of $227 billion in the first half of 2013 compares to a gap of $227 billion in the first half of 2012.
"It's a hopeful sign. At least we've leveled off," Preeg said.