Manufacturing jobs return, just not very good ones

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Charles Fishman has a long-read on the shifting tides that are bringing manufacturing jobs back to US shores from China.

“The addition of high-tech components to everyday items makes production more complicated, and that means U.S. production is more attractive, not just because manufacturers now have more proprietary technology to protect, but because American workers are more skilled, on average, than their Chinese counterparts.”

“In fact, insourcing solves a whole bundle of problems—it simplifies transportation; it gives people confidence in the competitive security of their ideas; it lets companies manage costs with real transparency and close to home; it means a company can be as nimble as it wants to be, because the Pacific Ocean isn’t standing in the way of getting the right product to the right customer.”

But Felix Salmon points out that the picture isn’t as rosy as is often portrayed: “That might be true, but…the jobs it is creating are not the good jobs which people want to have for many years. Instead, they pay $15ish per hour… manufacturing jobs are not good jobs any more: you’re better off working in retail, whether you’re in the US or in China. And you don’t need to spend unpaid years in college learning technical skills to get a retail job.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.