Question-of-the-Day: Are U.S. factories really "humming" along?
Here's a puzzling contradiction: The Associated Press reports that orders for durable goods fell 3.8% last month, the largest drop in six months. However, they also report that U.S. factories are "humming" along.
There seem to be conflicting views here. As economist Michael Mandel observes, U.S. manufacturing is still struggling:
- Industrial production of manufacturing is still 12% below its 2007 level.
- Total manufacturing is about 9% below its 2007 level.
- Manufacturing employment is still down 2 million jobs.
There's still quite a bit of work ahead in order to gear up the U.S. industrial sector for the 21st Century. The surest path forward is to invest more in domestic manufacturing and to reform our trade policies. Such actions will create more exports, more jobs, more innovation, and more growth.
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