Who Stole All the Manufacturing Jobs?

One of the most common arguments against international trade is that it leads to the loss of manufacturing jobs. Protectionists assert that the recent decline in manufacturing employment has been fueled by the rising U.S. trade deficit.

While it is true that the number of manufacturing jobs has been dropping since the turn of the century, some argue that increases in worker productivity are actually to blame. Technological advancements have enabled manufacturers to increase production levels. This in turn has decreased demand for manufacturing labor. Distinguishing between jobs lost to trade and productivity is increasingly valuable, and this study does that.

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