President-elect Donald Trump’s recent call to fame is that he saved 1,000 jobs from moving to Mexico, as part of his deal with the Carrier Corporation.
As part of the deal, he had to promise them over $7 million in state benefits – as part of an overall package that also cuts corporate taxes over time. Even with that, 1,300 jobs will still be going to Mexico, when you factor in the closing of their other factory in Huntington, Indiana – a little fact that Trump surprisingly forgot to mention.
With that said – things like this need to be put into context. So – what is the state of current manufacturing jobs in Indiana? They’ve increased since President Obama has been in office.
In 2010, there were 435,000 manufacturing jobs in the state. The latest numbers from this year show 518,000 – a 19% increase. Even though they are still down overall since 2000, that was under the previous Republican administration – not Obama.
Trump likes to blame President Obama’s policies are being one of the chief failures for getting bad deals with China – but it’s just not true.
But – what about the rest of the country, and not just Indiana? Well – here, too, manufacturing jobs are up since President Obama came into office – even though they are still down overall.
In 2010, there were 11,460,000 manufacturing jobs and in 2016 there were 12,338,000 – an increase of 8%.
This isn’t even the whole story – another fact Trump doesn’t mention is that output is up. Indiana is producing more even though it doesn’t have as many factory jobs as it did two decades ago. Why is that? It’s not trade – and it’s not the outsourcing of jobs – it’s technology. Companies are increasingly automating their functions requiring less workers. That’s a trend we are seeing a seeing across the entire country and it’s the reality of the situation.
Secretary of State John Kerry gave a passionate speech on this a few days ago. See below.
“Eighty-five percent of job loss in the United States is due to technology, not trade,” Kerry said. “So we’re running around hearing people battle a dragon called trade when, in fact, it’s not the fundamental problem …
“You tell me how the economy of the United States is going to grow, if 95 percent of the world’s customers live in another country, but we’re going to start knee-jerkingly just closing off some of that because we’re blaming other people for things that people are unwilling to address more directly and more honestly.”
“It’s the structure that we have underneath the trade that doesn’t provide the social safety network to provide the education, the ongoing education, the job training skills, the Social Security, the wages that people deserve for the work that they’re doing that is delivering more and more to the top 1 percent,” he said. “That inequity is at the bottom of this, not the fact that we trade.”
The other little talked about fact is that private-sector jobs in Indiana are up by 302,000 since Obama has been president. The problem is, nearly three-quarters of them are from service sector jobs which pay about $20,000 less than manufacturing ones.
No one is denying that the U.S. needs to be more competitive with outsourcing, but Trump is going to have to do a whole lot more than 1,000 jobs at one plant. And – in the meantime – his argument that manufacturing jobs are down under President Obama is just not true. Learn your facts.
Featured Image via Getty Images.