A Brief History of Deindustrialization

Deindustrialization is the process in which the United States, and other developed countries, have transitioned away from manufacturing. In the more globalized economy of the late 20th century, it was more inexpensive to shift manufacturing to other regions, both internationally, and domestically. Manufacturing in the United States shifted abroad and further south, to regions were union membership was less prevalent. This process had started in the United States by the late 1970s, and most severely impacted the midwest, coining the term "The Rust Belt." The defense industry was largely cushioned from this decline during the 1980s because of increases in defense spending during the Reagan years.
During this time Grumman saw their fortunes increase as money was poured into the F-14 Tomcat. However, the end of the Cold War marked a steep decline in the fortunes of defense contractors. Grumman was no exception, and Long Island lost thousands of manufacturing jobs as a result. Today, little manufacturing is done on the acreage formerly owned by Grumman.
Image: United States defense spending 1962-Present. Note the large cuts starting around 1990. Image used with permission under the Creative Commons 3.0 unported license. This image is property of Joshpsuedo, and used with permission under the guidelines of the Creative Commons.