A Cato Take on Manufacturing, Trade and Skills

By September 6, 2007General

The Cato Institute’s Daniel Ikenson also appreciated the Tuesday Washington Post story by Peter Goodman on the resilience of U.S. manufacturing. (We posted about the story here.)

During the most recent decade, U.S. manufacturing has become increasingly oriented toward the middle and upper ends of the value-added spectrum. Opportunities abound for workers with skills or the willingness and wherewithal to acquire them. In fact, the title of the National Association of Manufacturers tenth annual Labor Day Report on the state of U.S. manufacturing is “Rising Incomes Cushion Economy,” and its subtitle is “Finding Highly Skilled Workers Remains a Challenge for Manufacturers.” It seems to me that rising wages should make more workers willing to get the skills, and the need to find highly-skilled workers should induce manufacturers to assist on the wherewithal front.

Interesting thought: That individuals will act on market signals to acquire the training they need to succeed in a dynamic economy.

Ikenson points us to his own paper he’s written on the U.S. manufacturing economy, “Thriving in a Global Economy: The Truth about U.S. Manufacturing and Trade.” We’ll delve into it soon.

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