Earlier this week, motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson announced plans to shift some of its production overseas to avoid retaliatory tariffs recently imposed by the EU in response to tariffs by the Trump administration. While the iconic American brand is shifting jobs to other countries, a number of major U.S. manufacturers have made significant efforts to add or retain jobs in the United States over the past several years.
According to advocacy group Reshoring Initiative, the number of jobs being reshored by U.S. companies has increased more than tenfold since 2010. Each company has its own reasons for consolidating manufacturing operations in the United States, and the number of jobs and size of investment involved in the reshoring projects also vary by company.
To determine which manufacturers are bringing the most jobs back to America, 24/7 Wall Street used data provided by Reshoring Initiative based on company announcements from 2010 through the first quarter of 2018. The 16 companies announcing the largest reshoring initiatives plan to bring back, add, or retain a combined total of approximately 73,000 manufacturing jobs.
16. Insulet Corp.
- Total jobs reshored: 1,500
- States benefiting: Massachusetts
- Industry: Biotechnology
- Headquarters: Billerica, Massachusetts
Insulet Corporation manufactures insulin delivery systems. In 2017 the company announced it would be moving the production of its flagship product -- the Omnipod, a tubeless, waterproof insulin pump -- from China to a new facility in Acton, Massachusetts. Insulet cited the area's skilled workforce and rising labor costs in China as reasons for the move. If Insulet meets earnings expectations for the next several years, the new facility could employ as many as 1,500 workers by 2021.
15. Element Electronics
- Total jobs reshored: 1,500
- States benefiting: Michigan, South Carolina
- Industry: Consumer electronics
- Headquarters: Winnsboro, South Carolina
In 2012, South Carolina-based consumer electronics manufacturer Element Electronics opened a new flat screen television factory in Detroit. The decision was based on a need to consolidate the company's supply chain, and made Element one of the only companies to manufacture televisions in the U.S. Element also reshored production from China to Winnsboro, South Carolina with an initial $7.5 million investment in a new plant that is projected to lead to the creation of 500 jobs. The TV manufacturer cited Walmart's pledge to buy $250 billion of U.S.-made products from 2013 to 2023 as a primary reason to relocate operations to the United States.
- Total jobs reshored: 1,600
- States benefiting: Michigan
- Industry: Motor vehicle parts
- Headquarters: Zeeland, Michigan
Over the last several years, mirror manufacturer Gentex closed its two plants in China and Mexico in an effort to centralize production in Zeeland, Michigan. While labor was less expensive overseas, the move to consolidate all stages of production in one location is likely to reduce transportation costs and the risk of manufacturing error. According to the Reshoring Initiative, the company's reshoring efforts since 2010 amount to a total of 1,600 jobs for U.S. workers.
- Total jobs reshored: 1,600
- States benefiting: Rhode Island, TBD
- Industry: Pharmaceuticals
- Headquarters: Thousand Oaks, California
In a January 2018 meeting with President Donald Trump, Amgen CEO Robert Bradway announced that the firm was planning to add 1,600 manufacturing jobs in the U.S. The announcement came several years after the biopharma company cut approximately 15% of its workforce and closed two U.S. manufacturing facilities in 2014 as part of major cost-saving efforts.
Most recently, Amgen announced in February 2018 that it would invest $300 million in a new U.S. biologics plant that would employ approximately 300 workers upon completion. An April 2018 recent press release from the company named West Greenwich, Rhode Island, as the site of the new facility.
12. Merck & Co.
- Total jobs reshored: 1,633
- States benefiting: New Jersey, TBD
- Industry: Pharmaceuticals
- Headquarters: Kenilworth, New Jersey
In July 2017, the White House announced that Merck, along with pharmaceutical manufacturers Pfizer and Corning, have committed to making a joint investment of at least $4 billion in pharmaceutical glass manufacturing in the U.S. The partnership will focus on the manufacturing of advanced pharmaceutical glass packing, a technology used in the storage of injectable drugs, as well as vials and cartridges, and is projected to lead to the direct hiring of 4,000 U.S. employees across the three companies.
Merck also recently reshored approximately 300 jobs as part of its efforts to consolidate its overseas operations in the U.S. The company relocated the headquarters of its animal health division from Boxmeer, the Netherlands to its campus in Summit, New Jersey in 2013 as part of a larger restructuring effort.
- Total jobs reshored: 1,900
- States benefiting: New York
- Industry: Energy production & storage
- Headquarters: San Mateo, California
In 2014, SolarCity announced a deal with the State of New York that commits the company to invest approximately $5 billion over the next 10 years in return for a $750 million construction subsidy that is projected to create at least 1,900 jobs. The investment is focused around the construction of a new facility in South Buffalo. Without major government subsidies, domestic manufacturing of solar panels has largely been prohibitively expensive, as U.S. labor costs were too high compared to other countries. While the project stalled for several years as SolarCity reevaluated its timeframe and was taken over by Tesla, solar roof tile production began at the new factory in December 2017.
10. Polaris Industries
- Total jobs reshored: 2,000
- States benefiting: Alabama
- Industry: Transportation equipment
- Headquarters: Deerfield, Illinois
In January 2015, automotive manufacturer Polaris Industries announced plans to build a $142 million off-road vehicle plant in Huntsville, Alabama that will create an estimated 2,000 manufacturing jobs in the area. The move was likely prompted by the generous tax breaks offered by state and local governments. Polaris is projected to receive approximately $80 million in tax breaks from the city of Huntsville and state of Alabama upon completion and staffing of the facility. The announcement comes several years after the company was criticized for downsizing its plant in Osceola, Wisconsin and building a new facility in Monterrey, Mexico for approximately $150 million.
- Total jobs reshored: 2,100
- States benefiting: Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Texas
- Industry: Construction & farm machinery
- Headquarters: Peoria, Illinois
According to the Reshoring Initiative, over the last several years construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has announced reshoring projects that will target facilities in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, and Texas, and will add or retain an estimated 2,100 U.S. manufacturing jobs. In 2012, Caterpillar opened a new facility in Victoria, Texas with an initial investment of $200 million in an effort to shift production of its hydraulic excavators from Akashi, Japan to the U.S. In August 2015, Caterpillar announced plans to expand employment at its Victoria facility, moving its vocational truck manufacturing operations from Mexico to the Texas location.
- Total jobs reshored: 2,165
- States benefiting: Ohio
- Industry: Electronics, electrical equipment
- Headquarters: Benton Harbor, Michigan
Since 2010, Whirlpool has announced several efforts to consolidate its overseas operations within the U.S. that will add up to an estimated 2,165 reshored jobs for domestic manufacturing workers. Most recently, in January 2018 Whirlpool announced it would be adding 200 full-time employees to its facility in Clyde, Ohio. The news came shortly after the Trump Administration announced safeguard tariffs on large imported residential washing machines, a move projected to reduce import competition from Whirlpool rivals Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics.
7. General Electric
- Total jobs reshored: 2,656
- States benefiting: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, New York, Ohio
- Industry: Industrial machinery
- Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts
Since 2010, General Electric has announced domestic capital investments that are projected to add approximately 2,700 jobs to the U.S. manufacturing workforce. Much of the reshoring efforts are based around Appliance Park, a newly renovated production facility in Louisville, Kentucky, and shifting the production of bottom-mounted refrigerators and front-load washing machines from China and Mexico to the U.S. According to GE, reasons for the move include lower transportation costs, a more qualified workforce, and significant tax incentives by state and local governments.
6. Dow Chemical
- Total jobs reshored: 2,900
- States benefiting: Louisiana, Michigan, Texas
- Industry: Chemicals
- Headquarters: Midland, Michigan
In March 2015, Dow Chemical announced plans to invest $6 billion in its manufacturing plants in Texas and Louisiana in an effort to capitalize on lower domestic natural gas prices. According to a Dow executive, the increase in U.S. fracking activity has created significant investment prospects for chemical producers in the United States that will pay off in the next several years. The Gulf Coast reshoring effort is largely focused on the production of ethylene, propylene, and chemical derivatives used in packaging. The company's reshoring efforts announced over the past several years are projected to retain or add approximately 2,900 manufacturing jobs to the U.S.
- Total jobs reshored: 4,000
- States benefiting: Arizona, California, Oregon
- Industry: Semiconductors & other electronic components
- Headquarters: Santa Clara, California
In 2011, Intel announced plans to hire 4,000 U.S. workers and build a $5 billion microprocessor plant in Chandler, Arizona. Known as Fab 42, the plant will use the 7-nanometer production process and is projected to be the most advanced, high-volume microprocessor plant in the world. While the facility was completed in 2013, its opening was stalled for several years. In February 2017, however, Intel announced plans to open the facility with a total investment of $7 billion and the direct hiring of 3,000 high-tech, high-wage workers. The tech giant projects the plant will be completed in the next two to three years, and will indirectly lead to the creation of roughly 10,000 jobs throughout Arizona.
- Total jobs reshored: 4,200
- States benefiting: Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, New York
- Industry: Motor vehicles & parts
- Headquarters: Dearborn, Michigan
In January 2017, Ford announced plans to cancel the $1.6 billion expansion of its Mexico production facility, instead opting to expand operations at its Flat Rock, Michigan facility with a $700 million investment projected to create 700 jobs. Similar reshoring efforts by the U.S. auto giant have been announced over the past eight years, targeting facilities in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, New York, and other parts of Michigan and totaling an estimated 4,200 new jobs for the domestic workforce. Like General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, Ford's announcements were made amid pressure from the current administration to reduce investment overseas and increase capital investments in the U.S. manufacturing sector. While some analysts speculate the reshoring efforts are a response to the Trump administration's push for domestic job creation, Ford representatives have noted that they were based on an initiative to expand its truck and S.U.V. model offerings for U.S. consumers, which was previously agreed to in a labor contract with the United Automobile Workers union.
- Total jobs reshored: 7,725
- States benefiting: Missouri, Montana, South Carolina
- Industry: Aerospace & defense
- Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
Over the past several years, Boeing has rapidly expanded its U.S. workforce at various manufacturing plants throughout the East Coast. Boeing began operations at a new plant in Charleston, South Carolina in 2011 that manufactures 787 Dreamliner planes. Boeing also recently moved parts of its production of the new 777X plane from overseas to its St. Louis facility. The first 777X is projected to be completed by December 2019. According to the Reshoring Initiative, since 2010 Boeing has announced plans to reshore approximately 8,000 jobs, the most of any U.S. company other than General Motors and Apple.
2. General Motors
- Total jobs reshored: 12,988
- States benefiting: Michigan, New York, Tennessee, Texas
- Industry: Motor vehicles & parts
- Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan
Over the past several years, General Motors has made several announcements regarding various reshoring efforts that will boost employment at its plants in Michigan, New York, Tennessee, and Texas. The largest announcement came January 2017, when GM made public its plans to add or retain 7,000 jobs in the U.S. over the next few years. One of the major reshoring projects will be the shifting of approximately 600 jobs from an axle production plant in Mexico to a new facility in Arlington, Texas. GM's reshoring efforts announced since 2010 amount to roughly 13,000 jobs, the most of any U.S. company other than Apple.
- Total jobs reshored: 22,200
- States benefiting: Texas, TBD
- Industry: Computers, office equipment
- Headquarters: Cupertino, California
In January 2018, Apple announced plans to invest over $30 billion in capital expenditures in the U.S. over the next five years. As part of the investment, Apple is increasing its commitment to its Advanced Manufacturing Fund -- used to invest in U.S. manufacturing companies and boost the domestic manufacturing sector -- from $1 billion to $5 billion. The move is projected to create over 20,000 new jobs at Apple's existing campuses and at a new office location which has yet to be announced.
Apple's job creation announcement comes amid criticism aimed at the company for its outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to China, and accusations that it has dodged U.S. taxes by keeping some $250 billion overseas. A March 2017 press release from Apple claims the company supports some 4.8 million jobs in China, compared to 2.0 million in the U.S.
Detailed findings and methodology
While companies have been under significant pressure over the past decade to invest in the domestic manufacturing sector, many of the companies bringing the most jobs back to America are not necessarily doing so for political reasons. Some of the most common reasons cited for reshoring manufacturing jobs are to capitalize on the brand value of the Made in USA label, proximity to the U.S. customer base, the country’s skilled workforce, and government incentives.
Many companies have also cited Walmart’s pledge to buy $250 billion of American-made products between 2013 and 2023 as a primary reason for shifting operations to the United States. The pledge has reduced some of the risk of relocating production to the United States and has helped companies such as Element Electronics, which won a contract with Walmart shortly after opening a small flat-screen television plant in Michigan, make the decision to reshore.
To determine which manufacturers are bringing the most jobs back to America, 24/7 Wall St. used data provided by the Reshoring Initiative based on reshoring announcements from 2010 through the first quarter of 2018. Data is based on reshoring announcements and press releases gathered and quantified by the Reshoring Initiative. Only companies that had already completed significant offshoring projects, or had specifically chosen to manufacture in the U.S. over offshore options, were considered. Companies were ranked based on the total number of jobs they plan to add or retain in the United States through domestic capital investments.
24/7 Wall Street is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.