Aerospace giant Boeing (BA), the country's largest exporter, started delivering 787 Dreamliners from its new plant in South Carolina in 2012. Both that factory and the company's plants in Washington state are running at record production. Boeing delivered 768 airliners in 2015, up 163% in 10 years. Archrival Airbus delivered its first U.S.-assembled airliner from its new Alabama factory in April, and Brazilian plane maker Embraer (ERJ) recently moved assembly of its smallest private jets to Florida.
U.S. auto production and employment has also been growing steadily since bottoming out in 2009 with the bankruptcies at GM and Chrysler.The industry is operating within 7% of record levels, making 12 million cars and trucks a year. Not only have GM (GM), Ford (F) and Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) all been hiring and investing in U.S. plants, but foreign automakers are expanding operations here as well. The largest BMW plant in the world is now in South Carolina, and the plant exports most of the cars it builds there (see video below)
And the boom isn't just about big-ticket items. Chemical production hit a record $797 billion last year, up 30% in the last 10 years. The chemical boom has been fueled by the record U.S. energy boom, which has made oil and natural gas particularly cheap. Petroleum is a key raw material for many chemicals, most of which are produced using energy from natural gas.