Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 8, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

FACTOID WATCH....Several people have already linked to this Robert Reich piece, but it's genuinely interesting:

America has been losing manufacturing jobs to China, Latin America and the rest of the developing world. Right? Well, not quite. It turns out that manufacturing jobs have been disappearing all over the world. Economists at Alliance Capital Management in New York took a close look at employment trends in 20 large economies recently, and found that since 1995 more than 22 million factory jobs have disppeared.

In fact, the United States has not even been the biggest loser. Between 1995 and 2002, we lost about 11 percent of our manufacturing jobs. But over the same period, the Japanese lost 16 percent of theirs. And get this: Many developing nations are losing factory jobs. During those same years, Brazil suffered a 20 percent decline.

Heres the real surprise. China saw a 15 percent drop. China, which is fast becoming the manufacturing capital of the world, has been losing millions of factory jobs.

It's remarkable that productivity gains have been so widespread that even China is losing manufacturing jobs. I'm not sure what the policy implications of this are, and Reich doesn't go into it, but it sure puts a different spin on the administration's recent claims that China is "stealing jobs" from America, doesn't it?

Kevin Drum 9:47 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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