Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Not immigrants or food stamps, but a flood of cheap imports.

Where did all the jobs go?

That’s the American economic question of our time. And it was the question a recent paper from a pair of researchers at the University of Maryland attempted to answer.

From a write-up in the local newspaper The Washington Post:

In a draft paper released by the National Bureau for Economic Research this week, (economists Katharine Abraham and Melissa Kearney) find that trade with China and the rise of robots are to blame for millions of the missing jobs.

Other popular scapegoats, such as immigration, food stamps and Obamacare, did not even move the needle.

What?!

We’re on record here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing saying that fears of job loss to automation may be slightly overblown. We even made a video about it! 

But, this working paper certainly confirms our suspicions that Chinese import competition have been a major drag on the American employment market. According to Abraham and Kearney, Chinese imports cost the American economy 2.65 million jobs between 1999 and 2016.

Read more about this new economic research, and you can find the actual paper here.