Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The problems are more complicated than that.

Where have all the manufacturing jobs gone? If you ask Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, the answer is clear: China! But there is another, more plausible explanation.

To paraphrase Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, "It's the robots, stupid".

The U.S. has lost 5 million factory jobs since 2000. And trade has indeed claimed production jobs – in particular when China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. Nevertheless, there was no downturn in U.S. manufacturing output.

As a matter of fact, U.S. production has been growing over the last decades. From 2006 to 2013, "manufacturing grew by 17.6%, or at roughly 2.2% per year," according to a report from Ball State University.

The study reports as well that trade accounted for 13% of the lost U.S. factory jobs, but 88% of the jobs were taken by robots and other factors at home.

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If not China, what then explains these jobs losses? It's simple: factories don't need as many workers as they used to, because robots increasingly do the work.

The problems are more complicated than that. Where have all the manufacturing jobs gone? If you ask Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, the answer is clear: China! But there is another, more plausible explanation. To paraphrase Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, "It's the robots, stupid".

The U.S. has lost 5 million factory jobs since 2000. And trade has indeed claimed production jobs – in particular when China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. Nevertheless, there was no downturn in U.S. manufacturing output. As a matter of fact, U.S. production has been growing over the last decades. From 2006 to 2013, "manufacturing grew by 17.6%, or at roughly 2.2% per year," according to a report from Ball State University. The study reports as well that trade accounted for 13% of the lost U.S. factory jobs, but 88% of the jobs were taken by robots and other factors at home.

If not China, what then explains these jobs losses? It's simple: factories don't need as many workers as they used to, because robots increasingly do the work.

Investment in automation and software has doubled the output per U.S. manufacturing worker over the past two decades. Robots are replacing workers, regardless of trade at an accelerating pace.

"The real robotics revolution is ready to begin" writes BCG and predicts that "the share of tasks that are performed by robots will rise from a global average of around 10% across all manufacturing industries today to around 25% by 2025."

With increasing automation, the manufacturing industry is becoming more productive. From 1998 to 2012, all sectors experienced a productivity growth of 32% when adjusted for inflation – the production of computer and electronic products rose 829%.

The researchers at Ball State University calculated: If 2000-levels of productivity are applied to 2010-levels of production, the U.S. would have required 20.9 million manufacturing workers instead of the 12.1 million actually employed.

With the rise in productivity, many workers are moving up the economic ladder. However, those who fail to meet rising requirements – probably many less-educated Americans – risk to fall into the lower class.

"Since the 1960s, manufacturing has always paid substantially more than the minimum wage. Even today, the manufacturing jobs that remain average $20.17 an hour. That's nearly three times the federal minimum wage.

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Of course, had the far left not joined the far right in demonizing these trade deals rather than describing the actual problem, automation.... and helped emphasis new job training programs supported by Dems instead.... it would have been more difficult for Trump to con the Rust Belt into believing his BS.

#1 | Posted by Corky at 2016-11-22 04:04 PM | Reply

Two posts with the same lie.

I'm impressed.

Why do you think automation does not affect low wage countries who use massive manpower?

It's the wage being paid...

#2 | Posted by Prolix247 at 2016-11-22 04:37 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

60,000 factories have been moved offshore, some, but not all to China. The US steel industry has been deliberately decimated, a fact which will determine the outcome of any prolonged war which does not go nuclear, which we would all lose.

Automation factors in in China as much as here.

#3 | Posted by nutcase at 2016-11-22 06:34 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The company I work for has factories in China (to produce goods we sell in China). It has been a few years since I visited our plant in Shanghai but when I was there I was struck by the lack of automation. When I asked about it, they said that it is looked on as your patriotic duty to hire as many people as you can. So they have refrained from the same levels of automation I see here in the States.

While I support adding jobs here in the States, I recognize that automation is a big part of what is going on.

One answer is to buy products made in the US however, I understand that not everyone can afford to do that in every case.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

#4 | Posted by sawdust at 2016-11-22 11:05 PM | Reply

I would like to see the source of this. And I would like to see the study replicated.

"The study reports as well that trade accounted for 13% of the lost U.S. factory jobs, but 88% of the jobs were taken by robots and other factors at home. "

I seriously doubt that. Industry grew at only 2.2% - that's very anemic. It should be growing at more than twice that rate. That's the real problem - all our manufacturing is done overseas. We should be having a four to five percent growth rate, instead china has an eight percent growth rate. Can't you see what's going on?

#5 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2016-11-23 12:33 AM | Reply

Gibson makes Epiphone guitars in China that they sell here at nearly a 5th the price of the same Gibson American models.
i'm glad they do. many more can afford an instrument.

#6 | Posted by ichiro at 2016-11-23 12:38 AM | Reply

Yah no one lost 1 job after 60,000 factories moved to China.

Clinton cultist logic.

give it a rest CORKS your con artist candidate lost to another con artist and thats that.

#7 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2016-11-23 12:39 AM | Reply

Here's the link

fortune.com

And another

bigstory.ap.org

And another

www.sci-tech-today.com

"Yes, the robots will steal our jobs. And that's fine."

The U.S. economy added 2.7 million jobs in 2015, capping the best two-year stretch of employment growth since the late 1990s, pushing the unemployment rate down to 5 percent.

But to listen to the doomsayers, it's just a matter of time before the rapid advance of technology makes most of today's workers obsolete with ever-smarter machines replacing teachers, drivers, travel agents, interpreters and a slew of other occupations.

Research as well as recent history suggest that these concerns are overblown and that we are neither headed toward a rise of the machine world nor a utopia where no one works anymore. Humans will still be necessary in the economy of the future, even if we can't predict what we will be doing."

www.washingtonpost.com

#8 | Posted by Corky at 2016-11-23 12:47 AM | Reply

I'm more concerned about the loss of factories we could be building for $500 billion a year (our trade deficit) than the loss of existing factories. We need to change the vector of industrialization to American made products. It's an old saying that for every dollar made in mining in America, seven dollars in jobs are created. I'm sure that's true of manufacturing as well.

We have the natural resources. We have the energy. We have the infrastructure. We have the people, they just aren't slaves like in Communist China or Elite run Mexico.

#9 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2016-11-23 01:08 AM | Reply

"60,000 factories have been moved offshore, some, but not all to China."

And I've noticed within just the last 30 days that the pundits have accepted this nonsense that it is all "automation" that is hollowing out our middle class. It's a lie, it's to protect outsourcing that produces billions of dollars of profits for the 1%.

#10 | Posted by danni at 2016-11-23 09:21 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

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Remind me again, how many trillions of dollars are teh corporations holding in overseas banks so they don't have to pay their taxes on them that they have made by outsourcing manufacturing jobs? Now try to tell me again that it our middle class is suffering because of automation so I can laugh in your face. Grow up. These people will try to convince you of anything except that outsourcing is killing our middle class. Now I'm going to start waiting for Trump to keep his promise to bring back the Carrier Air Conditioning jobs that are being outsourced to Mexico, 1400 jobs. He needs to put up or shut up. The employees of Carrier agree with me on this, many voted for him, but now they expect him to produce. He won't because he can't because he's a liar.

#11 | Posted by danni at 2016-11-23 09:27 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

And I've noticed within just the last 30 days that the pundits have accepted this nonsense that it is all "automation" that is hollowing out our middle class. It's a lie, it's to protect outsourcing that produces billions of dollars of profits for the 1%.
---

Makes it easier to discredit workers who are hurting and sell crappy trade deals down our throats. (see #1)

#12 | Posted by LIVE_OR_DIE at 2016-11-23 09:30 AM | Reply

"Makes it easier to discredit workers who are hurting and sell crappy trade deals down our throats. (see #1)"

Sorry Corky, LIve or Die is right. We've created a "middle class" in China while the 1% tell us it's all due to automation. Sorry, ain't buying it.

#13 | Posted by danni at 2016-11-23 09:46 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

And I've noticed within just the last 30 days that the pundits have accepted this nonsense that it is all "automation" that is hollowing out our middle class. It's a lie, it's to protect outsourcing that produces billions of dollars of profits for the 1%.

#10 | Posted by danni at 2016-11-23 09:21 AM | Reply | Flag

Yesssssssssss SHE'S BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Danni of old strikes again.

#14 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2016-11-23 11:05 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I don't blame China ...

And I've noticed within just the last 30 days that the pundits have accepted this nonsense that it is all "automation" that is hollowing out our middle class. It's a lie, it's to protect outsourcing that produces billions of dollars of profits for the 1%.
#10 | Posted by danni

Its a setup Danni, this is the lying media ..... its to normalize the demise of the middle class, explain it away.

But be clear, its not just to protect outsourcing, but also protect the inflow of cheap available labor.

#15 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2016-11-23 11:15 AM | Reply

#11 | POSTED BY DANNI

"...how many trillions of dollars are teh corporations holding in overseas banks so they don't have to pay their taxes on them...."

That money is owned by foreign subsidiary corporations which are not subject to U. S. law unless they are doing business in the U. S.

I'm not aware of any U. S. corporations that have branch operations in a foreign country.

U. S. corporations do not operate in foreign countries in order to avoid foreign entanglements; they setup foreign subsidiary corporations to do business in a foreign country.

U. S. corporations are taxed on their world-wide income.

#16 | Posted by Visitor2 at 2016-11-23 12:05 PM | Reply

We've created a "middle class" in China while the 1% tell us it's all due to automation. Sorry, ain't buying it.

#13 | Posted by danni at 2016-11-23 09:46 AM

No we have created a free stuff army right here.

#17 | Posted by Federalist at 2016-11-23 12:19 PM | Reply

"That money is owned by foreign subsidiary corporations which are not subject to U. S. law unless they are doing business in the U. S."

Oh, that explains why they are trying to get a tax reduction for repatriated money. Just like they got under Ronald Reagan.

#18 | Posted by danni at 2016-11-23 12:21 PM | Reply

=the 1% tell us it's all due to automation.

The facts tell us that. Links in #8

#19 | Posted by Corky at 2016-11-23 01:24 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Globalists weep at the very thought that the US may deal with other countries on the same terms that they deal with us. They don't want fair trade. They want the rules skewed most heavily towards corporate profits.

If a trade deal is unfair and one-sided, it is worth rectifying no matter how many jobs were lost. The very least our government owes us to negotiate on our behalf in good faith rather than selling us out to lobbyists.

And its not just that we sent jobs overseas. It is that we lose jobs by not having the same access to overseas markets that their companies enjoy here. If it were as easy for US firms to do business in China as it was for Chinese firms to do business here, you dont think that would create more jobs in the US?

You shouldn't trust people who argue against a desire on the part of Americans to be treated fairly by our trading partners. They aren't even trying to hide their bias.

#20 | Posted by Sully at 2016-11-23 02:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

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