Myths about the death of American manufacturing are misleading. The real decline is seen in the number of manufacturing jobs, which have fallen by five million since 2009. MarketWatch staffer Rex Nutting explains how manufacturing is still one of the largest sectors of the American economy, except it employs far fewer people to do this job than in the past.

Nutting gives four surprising facts about manufacturing including how manufacturing is nearing a record high:

Total production of U.S. factories peaked in 2007 before falling by 18% during the Great Recession, according to the Federal Reserve’s industrial production report, which measures the volume of goods produced rather than the market value of those goods. The manufacturing sector has nearly recovered from the recession; output in 2015 was within 3% of the 2007 level.

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