Those Factory Jobs Aren't Coming Back

Those Factory Jobs Aren't Coming Back
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

When Donald Trump moves into the White House later this month, there will be great expectations resting on his ability to make good on one of the central planks of his campaign: Restoring America's industrial glory days and “bringing back” jobs. In areas that have been hit particularly hard by deindustrialization, like the Rust Belt — which ultimately gave the election to Trump — working-class swing voters will be anxiously waiting for the president to “make America great again,” which to them means bringing back decent paying jobs along with some stability.

Unfortunately for America's struggling working class, the majority of manufacturing jobs that have disappeared over the past few decades are never coming back, for one simple reason: They no longer exist. This reality is evidenced by a simple trend in manufacturing in America since the Great Recession ended: while manufacturing output has increased by more than 20 percent since 2009, manufacturing employment has grown by just 5 percent.

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