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“Good” Manufacturing Jobs Aren’t Coming Back


By Hunter Wallace

To sum it up: because of rotten free trade deals, millions of manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas, but only a trickle of jobs have lately come back. This is called “onshoring.”

Of the manufacturing jobs that have come back to the United States, many of these are heavily subsidized by Southern state governments. They are generally low wage, non-union jobs. In 2015, manufacturing workers are making less in wages than in 1985. Manufacturing is no longer the gateway to the middle class that it was in post-WW2 America.

“SPRING HILL, Tenn.—The hulking General Motors factory in this town south of Nashville undermines the complaints by politicians left and right that America doesn’t make things anymore.

A year ago, GM announced it was moving production of its best-selling vehicle, the Cadillac SRX, from Mexico to this plant in Tennessee. Today 3,000 people work on this 6.9 million square-foot campus, and more are being hired. …

But these are not your father’s manufacturing jobs. Many of the companies are locating their new plants in right-to-work states where it’s less likely their workers will join a union, and the prevailing wages are far lower.

In fact, nationally, the average wages of production and non-supervisory employees in manufacturing are lower than they were in 1985, when adjusted for inflation. In September, those employees made an average $8.63 an hour, in 1982 to 1984 dollars, while they made an average of $8.80 an hour in 1985, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

Manufacturing wages at non-union automobile plants in the South fell by 14 percent from 2003 to 2013. These plants seem to be making greater use of expendable temporary workers.

In related news, the Chinese Communist Party is weighing whether or not to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership at some point in the future. Also, Donald Trump is taking credit for Ford’s decision not to open a new automobile plant in Mexico and keep production in Ohio. It has been a constant theme in his stump speech for months now.