The manufacturing debate rages on
Is manufacturing coming back in America?
That’s the eternal question at ManufactureThis. We’re certainly doing all we can to make sure that it happens. But it will take a concerted policy effort to bring back a vital part of the American economy and to make sure it’s done right.
Economists and academics remain divided about a manufacturing resurgence. Nevertheless, there’s enough evidence out there to support such a theory.
To wit, an article in today’s Washington Post takes a crack at reading the tea leaves. Labor and energy costs in the United States, Brad Plumer says, aren’t what they used to be:
Besides the shrinking wage gap between China and the United States, the productivity of the American worker keeps rising. And the surge in shale gas drilling gives the United States a wealth of cheap domestic energy to bolster industries such as petrochemicals.
All that could combine to make U.S. factories more competitive in the years ahead, not just with Europe and Japan, but with the manufacturing behemoth in China. This shift likely won’t mean the United States will have 19 million manufacturing workers again, the way it did in the 1980s. For one thing, automation is still a powerful force. And the types of jobs that come back will be different from the ones that vanished. Still, any significant uptick in domestic manufacturing after a decades-long decline could bolster the economy and spur innovation.
“I think it’s fair to say this hasn’t all registered in the data just yet,” says Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. “But we’re starting to lay the groundwork where we’ll start to see a real effect three to 10 years from now.”
Indeed. Read the whole Post story here.
Related recent Blogs
- Pharmaceutical companies' interests are covered in the TPP -- as for everyone else? Ehh ... • by mmcmullan • 12/09/2013
- A swing and a miss for Biden in Asia • by TGarland • 12/09/2013
- December 9, 2013: China reports biggest trade surplus in five years • by TGarland • 12/09/2013
- Kickstarting a manufacturing renaissance • by TGarland • 12/06/2013
- December 6, 2013: The #AAMeter, it moves (in the right direction)! • by mmcmullan • 12/06/2013
- U.S. Manufacturing Gains 27,000 Jobs in November: Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Statement. • by scapozzola • 12/06/2013
- Indiana manufacturing program expands • by TGarland • 12/05/2013
- Scott Paul: Keep skilled jobs for skilled workers in Washington • by mmcmullan • 12/05/2013
- December 5, 2013: Another voice for a currency rule in the TPP • by mmcmullan • 12/05/2013
- Some Made in America gift ideas for the obnoxious teenager in your life • by LDonia • 12/04/2013