Friday, February 06, 2004

MANUFACTURING NUMBERS

Manufacturing employment continues to tank. The BLS announced this morning that the economy shed 11 thousand manufacturing jobs in January. Christian Weller argues the deceleration of job losses in manufacturing are not cyclical (having begun declining in April 1998 amid the largest economic expansion in U.S. history), and thus slower bleeding is not a harbinger of turning points ahead. Manufacturing has suffered a hysteresis, and only bold policy measures will restore this important economic building block.

In related news: Americans are ever more dependent on foreigners for procuring manufactured goods:



**UPDATE: The foreign content of American manufacturing consumption is a function of domestic manufacturing production, and U.S. manufacturing exports and imports. Total domestic demand for manufactures is equal to domestic production, less manufactured exports plus maunfactured imports. Manufactured imports divided by this total domestic demand is plotted on the chart above. More than half of manufactured goods now consumed in the United States are foreign made.

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