Where Did the Jobs Go? Study Says: China


Imports to the U.S. from China have risen dramatically in the past 10 years. According to a new study by the Economic Policy Institute, that increase contributed heavily to job losses in Wisconsin, but the trend may be slowing.

Between 2001 and 2010, Wisconsin lost more than 54,000 manufacturing jobs to China. Rob Scott is the Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research for the labor-friendly Economic Policy Institute. He blames a growing trade deficit with China for many of the manufacturing industry’s economic woes.

Scott says Wisconsin ranks among those states hardest hit. He adds the trade deficit is a national problem with real consequences. “A loss of these manufacturing jobs has really taken the heart out of the manufacturing sector which has hurt the middle class, especially in a manufacturing state like Wisconsin.”

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Despite the grim picture painted by Scott’s report, Wisconsin manufacturers have created 12,000 jobs in the past year according to Dennis Winters, the state’s Department of Workforce Development Chief Economist. Winters says he expects this trend to continue. “The status of the manufacturing industry in Wisconsin right now is pretty good. I mean it’s one of the drivers that is helping Wisconsin’s economy move forward, and it’s true of the national level too.”

To insure the trend continues, Winters says the state has to make sure worker re-training remains a priority.

Full results from the Economic Policy Institute study