How to Save U.S. Manufacturing Jobs

By Howard Wial @CNNMoney February 23, 2012: 5:34 AM ET

Howard Wial is a fellow for the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program.

At first glance, manufacturing jobs would appear to be a dying breed.

The United States lost 6 million manufacturing jobs between early 2001 and late 2009. And despite small gains during the last two years, the trend in manufacturing employment for the last 30 years has been downward.

That has led some to argue that long-term job loss in the industry is inevitable. But our research shows otherwise.

There are two common versions of the “inevitability” argument. One holds that U.S. manufacturing wages are too high to be internationally competitive. The other maintains that manufacturing job losses are the result of productivity growth. Both arguments are wrong. Read more of this post

Obama To Propose Tax Breaks For ‘Insourcing’ Jobs

Photo Credit: Mandel Ngan, AFP

President Obama will propose tax breaks for companies that bring jobs back to the United States as part of an effort to boost the economic recovery.

Obama also will include $12 million in his proposed 2013 budget, to be released next month, to add staffing to a federal program that seeks to attract new businesses to the U.S.

The president made those announcements Wednesday at a White House forum on ‘insourcing’ jobs — bringing them back from overseas. He also said he will propose eliminating tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs to foreign countries.

“I do not want America to be a nation known for financial speculation and outsourcing and racking up debt buying stuff from other nations,” Obama said. “I want us to be known for making and selling products all over the world stamped with three proud words: ‘Made in America.’

“I don’t want the next generation of manufacturing jobs taking root in countries like China or Germany. I want them taking root in places like Michigan and Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina.”

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