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Thursday, April 8, 2010

China Eats 2.4M U.S. Jobs, 5200 SD Jobs Since 2001

Shout out to Thad Wasson: Stateline.org points us toward an interesting analysis of the jobs the United States has lost to China over the past decade. Robert E. Scott of the Economic Policy Institute calculates that more open trade with China displaced 2.4 million American jobs between 2001 and 2008. That's a big part of why the 2000's saw zero job growth instead of the double-digit-percentage growth of the previous six decades. (Also to blame: Ronald Reagan, deregulation, and monopolization.)

66% of those lost jobs were in manufacturing. The Chinese fueled their century-opening boom building factories that serve as a foundation for continued competitive production. We Americans fueled our economic bubble on consumption, including building big houses that now sit empty. Oops.

Every state shared in the job loss. South Dakota didn't come out as bad as some others: Scott's math attributes the loss of 5200 South Dakota jobs to China, 1.28% of our workforce. That's a little better than the national loss of 1.71% of the workforce. Minnesota came out worse, losing 2.17% of its workforce to China. North Dakota came out better, losing 0.92%.



    Seriously, the paper you posted presents two separate facts and then assumes they are connected. Look at the evidence they present in Tables 3 and 4A. They explicitly states that this is correlation only! IT's NOT CAUSATION.

    Job losses in the US were due to new technologies--automation--displacing these low skill jobs. I can't find the ieee article on it, but here is another good one:


    Technology is fueling productivity which reduces the demand for workers.

  2. Tony, nice try. And while your point is part of the issue, it's only a small part. When corporations can and do pay a Chinaman $2 per day, US labor doesn't stand a chance.

    Ross Perot was right. When the corporatists and their political apologists created incentives to off-shore US jobs all we heard was a giant sucking sound . . .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rkgx1C_S6ls john kelley

  3. John-

    Corporations care about profits, yes? So, if they can pay a "Chinaman" $2 per day or a robot $0.01 dollars per day they choose the robots. That caused the vast majority of the manufacturing job losses. Read the article I linked, they explicitly state that somewhere between 5 and 10% of the losses were due to off-shoring. They aren't ignoring it, they're just saying that it isn't the boogie man every makes it out to be.


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