Monday, November 10, 2003

News About Job Losses
I've long known that concerns over job losses are generally ill-informed. "Saving jobs" at all costs usually destroys jobs. For example, banning the automobile to save the saddle-makers would have been a colossal mistake. For that reason, I don't get too worried about the loss of manufacturing jobs we keep hearing about. However, this is news to me.

America has been losing manufacturing jobs to China, Latin America and the rest of the developing world. Right? Well, not quite. It turns out that manufacturing jobs have been disappearing all over the world. Economists at Alliance Capital Management in New York took a close look at employment trends in 20 large economies recently, and found that since 1995 more than 22 million factory jobs have disappeared.

In fact, the United States has not even been the biggest loser. Between 1995 and 2002, we lost about 11 percent of our manufacturing jobs. But over the same period, the Japanese lost 16 percent of theirs. And get this: Many developing nations are losing factory jobs. During those same years, Brazil suffered a 20 percent decline.

Here’s the real surprise. China saw a 15 percent drop. China, which is fast becoming the manufacturing capital of the world, has been losing millions of factory jobs.

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