Job creation, or not?... Is the U.S. actually "reshoring" its manufacturing jobs
Just how exactly is the U.S. doing on creating manufacturing jobs of late?
Well, there's no doubt that overall manufacturing employment is up since the depths of the recent recession. In fact, the U.S. has added back roughly 400,000 manufacturing jobs in the past two years.
But as Bloomberg News' David Lynch reports, the Obama Adminstration may not be completely accurate in heralding the "good news" of U.S. factory jobs returning from overseas.
Lynch cites a new study by the Hackett Group that found overall job growth was unchanged, with many factory jobs still moving offshore.
Michael Janssen, the author of the report, concluded that when returning jobs are measured against recent outsourcing, the conclusion is a "net zero":
"Some of these jobs that are coming back get a lot of press. But there are just as many that get no press coverage still going offshore."
Lynch reports that U.S. manufacturers have added 495,000 jobs since January 2010, when factory employment bottomed at almost 6 million below the 2000 level, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He cites Robert Scott of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) as saying these 6 million jobs were lost to other countries either directly or because imports replaced domestic production.
Much remains to be done to ensure that U.S. manufacturing can continue to get back on its feet. As Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul explained earlier this month when reviewing the latest montly U.S. jobs numbers:
"At the same time, we see Congress struggling to pass a highway bill, China devaluing its currency, and our trade deficit growing. This second act for American manufacturing will be fleeting unless Washington gets its act together. We’ve offered an effective, middle-of-the-road plan to regrow our economy. Is Washington listening to the concerns of the American people?
"If either party wants the support of blue-collar voters, they would be wise to offer concrete actions that will boost manufacturing while also getting a lot tougher on China’s cheating, which threatens to derail our own economic recovery. Both House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama are essentially giving China a blank check to manipulate its currency by sitting on their hands. The House should pass the bipartisan H.R.639 to deter China from further currency manipulation, and the Obama Administration should rescind its decision to not name China a currency manipulator."
AAM has frequently urged the implementation of a national manufacturing strategy to promote manufacturing jobs growth. Read more.
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