22 million Manufacturing jobs lost

Todays ( Oct 20 )Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on the second page. From 1995 to 2002 more than 22 million manufacturing
jobs were lost world wide.
The United States lost 11.3 %, South Korea lost 11.6^, Russia lost 11.7%, U.K. lost 12.4%, China lost 15.3%, Japan lost 16.1% and Brazil lost 19.9%.
Spain gained 24.6%, Canada 22%, Philipines 6.9%, Taiwan 4.7%, Mexico 1.1%, and Australia 0.3%.
The article compared these loses to the loses in agriculture from 1010 to 1990 when the U.S. went from 32% of total employment to 2.5%. In the U.K. it went from 11% to 2% and Germany went from 34% to 3%.
In 1995 China had 98 million manufacturing jobs and had 83 million in 2002. But lately China has been gaining Manufacturing jobs. From 2000 to 2002 China gained 2.5 million manufacturing jobs. But even with this recent gain China lost a bigger percentage of manufacturing jobs than the U.S. has lost from 1995 to 2002.
So maybe a lot of jobs moved overseas, but a lot just went. Oh yes global industrial output went up by 34%.
Dan
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On 20 Oct 2003 17:32:11 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@krl.org (Dan Caster) pixelated:

Wow.
The Spanish and Canadian gains are very interesting.

Automation is amazingly efficient at replacing the labor pool, isn't it? A friend of mine in SoCal is looking for men who can help him do automation on the factories lining CA Highway 78 now. He's got businesses lined up for months waiting for him to put machines in where their workers used to be. It's bittersweet for him but he's happy to be busy and profitable.
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(Dan Caster) wrote:

Maybe....
Pity that one poor bastard thats left behind to run them--all too often he is still working his danged tail off.
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(Dan Caster) wrote:

(Dan's original message didn't appear on my news server.)
I saw that article, and I wanted to hit somebody at the WSJ when I read it. <g>
Of those 22 million jobs "lost," 12.5 million (net) were "lost" in China. And, as Hamei can tell you, they were all in the state-owned enterprises, where they would employ 10 people to do the job of one, just to keep them from being social pests. Now that most of that deadwood has been cleared China's manufacturing employment has been increasing very nicely. But China has laid off an estimated 32 million employees from their state-owned enterprises over the last 10 years or so. The official figure from China, BTW, is 25 million. Their overall unemployment is now running close to 25%.
As for the dramatic rise in Canada, that's what a weak (Canadian) dollar will do for you. US automobile part-making and assembly moved to Canada in a swarm during the last decade. We were doing a brisk business at Wasino, selling production lathes to Canadian automobile-industry jobbers.
Regarding the "11.3% loss" in the US, that was only 4.3% between 1995 and 2000, much of which was jobs going to Canada and Mexico from the automobile industry. Take North America as a whole, and our manufacturing was doing really well in those years. The jump since 2000 is largely the result of the recession, which the WSJ would say on another day, if they were writing a different report. This is all from the US Dept of Labor reports I've been collecting, BTW.
'See why this stuff drives me nuts? You can't trust anybody's stories. They all cook the numbers to "prove" one point or another, but they OFTEN fall apart when you check them out. Sheesh.
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I don't see why you wanted to hit someone at the WSJ. I don't see where you disagree with any of the numbers. Agreed the reasons for the numbers were not completely clear in the article, but I don't see any of your reasons in any of the articles in the local papers that claim it is all G.W. Bushes fault. The article's point was that automation is decreasing manufacturing jobs everywhere while actual production increases.
I have been trying to learn another CAD program. The learning curve is a bit steep right now, but I can see where CAD sure reduces the need for large rooms of draughtmen. I see jobs running manual machine tools and jobs doing draughting with pen and pencil as similar. Those jobs are going and not going overseas. So with those jobs going and other jobs going overseas ( Thanks to better telecommunications ), the U.S. standard of living is regressing toward the world average. The only good thing is that the world standard of living is improving.
Dan

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Dan, the article claims that the numbers are the result of improvements in productivity. Early in the article they quote Joseph Carson, "director of global economic research at Alliance, [who] says the reasons for the declines are similar across the globe: Gains in technology and competitive pressure have forced factories to become more efficient, allowing them to boost output with far fewer workers." There has been some decline for those reasons, but overall, that's a misrepresentation by someone, and misreporting by the WSJ writers who repeated the story.
In fact, of the 22 million jobs they're talking about, 12.5 million are the result of China's privatization and closing of some state-run factories. To call that a "productivity improvement" is a total mischaracterization. What it is, really, is a shift from a commend-and-control, communist-state organization to a private-enterprise organization. Unless you want to call the elimination of 12.5 million featherbed jobs a gain in "technology," it's really just a change in ownership and management structure.
The 11.3% loss in US jobs all occurred in the last two years (I checked the DoL's revised figures: manufacturing employment from 1995 to 2000 was absolutely flat -- zero loss). Those last two years, output declined commensurate with the decline in employment. In other words, it's 100% attributable to the output decline that resulted from the recession. Again, productivity improvements had no relationship to the decline in US manufacturing employment, anymore than in China.
The actual decline in employment relative to output is a lot smaller than the article suggests, and, as the history through the 1990s shows, is actually less than the expansion of the economy, notwithstanding a recession from time to time. This puts an entirely different light on the employment picture in manufacturing. From 1990 to 2000, manufacturing employment actually grew, albeit only slightly.

I don't know what you're saying here. Hardly any business-beat reporter for a local paper has spent a fraction of the time necessary to research this subject accurately. They couldn't afford to.

Yeah. Then they quoted bogus figures to support it. If they had analyzed it more accurately, they would have seen that manufacturing employment reductions due to productivity improvements actually are outpaced by economic growth. The figures are quite clear on this.

There is no economic reason whatsoever for the US standard of living to decline. None. We're producing more than ever before. If you want the numbers, I'll get them for you.
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That does not mean that they do not write about the decline in manufacturing jobs and blame it all on jobs moving overseas caused by G. W. Bush. The article shows that France, Germanyo, Sweden, South Korea, Japan, and Brazil all had manufacturing job decreases. The causes are similar, the economy ( not stressed in the article ) and improvements in productivity, as well as jobs moving to countries with lower labor costs.

I did not say that the U.S. standard of living was declining. I did say that the difference between the U.S. and other countries is declining.
I enjoy reading the messages you post. You have a lot of knowledge that I appreciate. But in this case I think you read into the article more than was there. Or at least more than I did. I read it as saying " ....the loss of manufacturing jobs that we have seen in the U.S. is not unique........". This was followed by a paragraph that said Jerry Jasinoski does not accept the study. And that Paragraph followed by another that said that some other economists are coming to conclusions similar to Mr. Carson. A much more balanced article than the ones in my local paper.
I certainly agree that the local business beat reporters have not researched the subject accurately. But they still write articles.
Dan
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I'd call it a response to "competitive pressure" as the article states. It certainly can be characterized as a productivity improvement. More output per worker is the defining characteristic of productivity, doesn't matter if that's increased by technology or a change in management style.

Well, there you go. Everything is just peachy, and there's no reason for all this whining over China. Ed just said so. So why is Ed writing editorials saying that there is a problem?
Gary
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No, I don't think there's anyone in the field, studying or reporting on productivity, who would give that idea a hint of respectability, Gary. Firing masses of communist featherbedders doesn't fit into the same catagory as improving speeds or automation, or implementing JIT. Those are the types of productivity improvements that are the issues in international competition and in domestic employment.

editorials
What are you talking about? There's no economic reason for the US standard of living to decline. There are only social and political reasons...mostly political.
Unless something happened while I wasn't looking, we continue to produce more goods and services on a regular basis. Do you disagree?
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(Dan Caster) wrote:
Anyone els ehear the loud "sucking sound" created by NAFTA and GATT? Perot predicted it and everyone said he was chicken little. Seems he was right. Our own Federal Government gave these jobs away. We can't even supply our own defense system. It is dependant on other countried for strategic materials like titanium and machine tools.
Thank you Federal Government.

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