In a bit of pre-primary programming, NAM Chief Economist David Huether was on CNBC today talking about Michigan’s manufacturing economy and its pecularities compared to the rest of the country. He was joined by Dana Johnson of Comerica.
Good discussion about how Michigan’s economic difficulties stem largely from the decline in the auto industry. David also makes an essential point about the public’s perception of manufacturing, shaped by repetition of the phrase, “three million lost jobs. Three million lost manufacturing jobs.” True, but …
Ninety percent of that story was a 2000-2002 story. This was during the recession of 2000, and it lasted for manufacturing into 2002, and it’s where a lot of jobs were lost due to a downturn of exports and business investment. And since then, while you’ve had some sectors related to housing and motor veicles have some job losses, over the past year, in fact, production employment in manufacturing — outside of those sectors — has actually risen a little bit.
One of the difficult things is to try to expalin what role productivity has in the manufacturing sector, and how it is really changing the production process almost on a five-year basis from where it was a decade ago.
Video from the CNBC segment is here. A campaign season brings out a lot of exaggeration, spin and flat-out distortion. Glad to see CNBC looking for perspective.
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