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New Perspectives on the Decline of U.S. Manufacturing Employment

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Abstract

We use relatively unexplored dimensions of US microdata to examine how US manufacturing employment has evolved across industries, firms, establishments, and regions from 1977 to 2012. We show that these data provide support for both trade- and technology-based explanations of the overall decline of employment over this period, while also highlighting the difficulties of estimating an overall contribution for each mechanism. Toward that end, we discuss how further analysis of these trends might yield sharper insights.

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  • Teresa C. Fort & Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2018. "New Perspectives on the Decline of U.S. Manufacturing Employment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-023, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2018-23
    DOI: 10.17016/FEDS.2018.023
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment; Manufacturing; Output; Technology; Trade;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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