Manufacturing is the transformation of raw materials into finished goods for sale, or intermediate processes involving the production or finishing of semi-manufactures. It is a large branch of industry and of secondary production.
Although handicraft production has been with us for many millennia, modern-style manufacturing is generally regarded as beginning around 1780 with the British Industrial Revolution, spreading thereafter to Continental Europe and North America, and subsequently around the world.
While it remains a huge part of the modern world economy - perhaps a quarter of aggregate world production of goods and services - many of the world's wealthier nations devote an ever smaller proportion of their workforce to manufacturing activity owing to relocation of enterprises to lower-wage countries and the rising proportion of economic activity devoted to service activity.
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