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Factory Jobs Are Booming Like It’s the Nineteen Seventies


Ed Gresser, the vp of trade and global markets on the Progressive Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank, said that the US had seen a noticeable uptick in recent manufacturing establishments since 2019, especially within the pharmaceutical sector, which could be a response to the pandemic. Food and beverage establishments have also continued to grow.

But while growth within the U.S. manufacturing sector was strong last yr, so were imports of manufactured goods, Mr. Gresser said. That implies, he said, that the expansion of producing probably reflects strong consumer demand in the US through the pandemic, slightly than a shift to production in the US.

While attitudes toward doing business in China have quickly soured, patterns of production have been slower to alter. A survey of 117 leading firms released in August by the U.S. China Business Council found that business optimism had reached record lows, but U.S. corporations remained overwhelmingly profitable in China, which remains to be home to the world’s most expansive ecosystem of factories and a lucrative consumer market.

Eight percent of the surveyed firms reported moving segments of their supply chain out of China to the US previously yr, while one other 16 percent had moved some operations to other countries. But 78 percent of the businesses said they’d not shifted any business away from China.

The Biden administration is hopeful that recent policies — including a producing competitiveness law and a climate law the president signed this summer — will encourage more firms to go away China for the US, particularly cutting-edge industries like clean energy and advanced computing.

Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, said in an interview that the laws were already changing the calculus for investment and job creation in the US. In recent weeks, White House officials have promoted factory announcements from automakers, battery firms and others, directly linked to the climate bill.

“Some of the striking things that we’re seeing now,” Mr. Deese said, “is the variety of firms — U.S. firms and global firms — which might be committing to construct and expand their manufacturing footprint in the US, and doing so based on their view that not only did the pandemic highlight the necessity for more resilience of their supply chains, but that the US is making a policy environment that makes long run investment here in the US more attractive.”

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