Manufacturing employment in the United States of America peaked in the late 1970s. At that time, we had a population of about 220 million and almost 20 million people working at making things. Two decades later, in the year 2000, we still had over 17 million manufacturing jobs. But by October 2010, we were down to less than 12 million people employed in manufacturing and we had a population of about 310 million. The sad fact is that the US economy lost over five million manufacturing jobs in the first decade of the 21st century--nearly a thirty percent decline in just ten years.