The decades-long decline of U.S. manufacturing employment and the highly automated nature of the sector’s recent revitalization make it unlikely that President-elect Donald Trump will be able to make good on his campaign promise to bring back millions of manufacturing jobs, says Brookings Institution Senior Fellow and Policy Director Mark Muro. The decline of U.S. manufacturing jobs “is an unmistakable source of the working class rage that helped get Trump elected,” says Muro. But automation in modern manufacturing is “the main reason Trump won’t be able to ‘make America great again’ by bringing back production jobs.” Muro notes that the Rust Belt epicenter of the Trump electoral map says a lot about its emotional origins, but so do the facts of employment and productivity in U.S. manufacturing industries. The collapse of labor-intensive commodity manufacturing in recent decades and the expansion in this decade of super-productive advanced manufacturing have left millions of working-class white people feeling abandoned, irrelevant, and angry, he says. “To see this, one has only to look at the stark trend lines of the production data, which show a massive 30-year decline of employment beginning in 1980,” says Muro. “That trend led to the liquidation of more than a third of U.S. man [...]
Login to read the full story or Subscribe now!
11/18/16 5:30 PM