Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Another month of manufacturing job loss showcases the need for big picture policy reform.

A day after President-elect Donald Trump traveled to Indiana to announce 1,100 jobs at Carrier would be saved, the Labor Department released the monthly jobs report.

The news wasn’t good for manufacturing workers.

About 4,000 factory jobs were lost in November, the fifth month in a row that the Labor Department has reported manufacturing job loss. It’s just further proof that while interventions like that in the Carrier case are sometimes necessary — the Obama administration’s hugely successful auto rescue is another high-profile example — they aren’t enough.

But that doesn't mean that American manufacturing is doomed to fail, either. As AAM President Scott Paul noted in a statement released on Friday morning, smart policy such as infrastructure investment and trade reform (including a focus on China’s massive industrial overcapacity) will help create American factory jobs.

Here’s more from Paul:

“A tougher trade policy, a tax code that incentivizes reshoring jobs and production, investments in infrastructure, research and training are all urgently needed. America has manufacturing know-how, abundant energy resources, a culture of entrepreneurship, a strong homegrown consumer market, and access to amazing innovation. Smarter policies will help us compete.”

There are a lot of lessons we can learn from the events of November. A big one to remember is that manufacturing matters.

It has been argued that issues like trade turned the election for Trump in key states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — and voters of all political stripes favor efforts to strengthen manufacturing.

The incoming president and new Congress would be wise to get serious about implementing smart policy to create good-paying factory jobs and strengthen the American economy.