Do Not Blame Trade for the Decline in Manufacturing Jobs



Stephen J. Rose | Center for Strategic & International Studies

Manufacturing jobs are prized because many people think that economics is about producing goods and because manufacturing companies often provide well-paying jobs for workers without a college degree. Further, large manufacturing plants have been the anchor for many communities by bringing many dollars into the region that are spent locally by their employees.

High pay for manual manufacturing jobs followed the union organizing successes in the 1930s, which was followed by strong economic growth after World War II. The 30 years after World War II were economically strong across all high-income countries—the French called this the “30 glorious years.”


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