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The evolution of regional manufacturing employment: gross job flows within and between firms and industries


  • Scott Schuh
  • Robert K. Triest


The distribution of manufacturing employment across regions of the United States has changed tremendously over time. Shares of manufacturing employment in older, northern regions of the country have declined markedly relative to shares in the Sunbelt regions. But the shifting of manufacturing employment shares goes beyond the well known migration of population to the South and West. Manufacturing employment relative to population has also fallen in northern regions, and even the absolute number of manufacturing jobs has declined in these areas as well. ; Anecdotal evidence suggests that some of the shift in the distribution of manufacturing employment is due to the movement of particular firms and industries to the Sunbelt in search of lower costs of production and increased proximity to customers. However, other forces driving the shift between regions are also often cited. The fast-growing Sunbelt regions may have benefited from specialization in newer, faster-growing manufacturing industries than those clustered in the North. And the Sunbelt may also have been the preferred location for entrepreneurial manufacturing startups. ; This study focuses on two particular questions. First, what is the importance of job shifts within a firm but across regions in explaining regional differences in manufacturing employment growth? Second, to what degree are the varying fortunes of regions due to employment reallocation within industries?

Suggested Citation

  • Scott Schuh & Robert K. Triest, 2002. "The evolution of regional manufacturing employment: gross job flows within and between firms and industries," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Q 3, pages 35-53.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbne:y:2002:i:q3:p:35-53

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Randall W. Eberts & Edward Montgomery, 1995. "Cyclical versus Secular Movements in Employment Creation and Destruction," NBER Working Papers 5162, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. John Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1999. "Gross job flows between plants and industries," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Mar, pages 41-64.
    3. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "Plant Turnover and Gross Employment Flows in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 48-71, January.
    4. Scott Schuh & Robert K. Triest, 1999. "Gross Job Flows and Firms," Working Papers 99-16, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    5. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
    6. Randall W. Eberts & Edward Montgomery, 1994. "Employment creation and destruction: an analytical review," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, vol. 30(Q III), pages 14-26.
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    Cited by:

    1. R. Jason Faberman, 2011. "The Relationship Between The Establishment Age Distribution And Urban Growth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 450-470, August.
    2. R. Jason Faberman, 2005. "What’s In a City?: Understanding the Micro-Level Employer Dynamics Underlying Urban Growth," Working Papers 386, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    3. Chad R. Wilkerson & Megan D. Williams, 2012. "The transformation of manufacturing across Federal Reserve Districts: success for the Great Plains?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, vol. 97(Q II).

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    Manufactures; Employment (Economic theory);


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