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The Republic and HBO's The Wire PHIL-255-01: Manufacturing Jobs 1970-1980


Essletzbichler, Jürgen. "The Geography of Job Creation and Destruction in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector, 1967–1997." Annals Of The Association Of American Geographers 94, no. 3 (September 2004): 602-619,
Much geographical research focuses on the causes of geographical differences in net employment change. While net employment change is an important indicator of regional growth and decline, it masks the underlying process of creative destruction resulting in tremendous employment turnover rates. Labor economists and those who work in industrial organization emphasize the importance of theorizing the individual processes of job creation and destruction to uncover technological and institutional differences among industries and over the business cycle. This work demonstrates that over the course of a year, 10 percent of all jobs are destroyed and close to 10 percent of jobs are newly created. This article bridges the work of geographers on net employment change and the nongeographical work in industrial organization and provides the first comprehensive account of regional and metropolitan differences of job creation and destruction in U.S. manufacturing. Plant level data of the U.S. Census Bureau show that geographical differences in net employment change are primarily the result of differences in job creation rates and to a lesser extent in job destruction rates, that different types of plants drive the job creation process in different metropolitan areas, and that the snowbelt/sunbelt dichotomy collapses in the 1990s with selected midwestern urban areas among the fastest growing areas in the country.

"US Manufacturing: Understanding Its Past and Its Potential Future†." Journal Of Economic Perspectives 28, no. 1 (2014): 3-26,  http://

The development of the US manufacturing sector over the last half-century displays two striking and somewhat contradictory features: 1) the growth of real output in the US manufacturing sector, measured by real value added, has equaled or exceeded that of total GDP, keeping the manufacturing share of the economy constant in price-adjusted terms; and 2) there is a long-standing decline in the share of total employment attributable to manufacturing. The persistence of these trends seems inconsistent with stories of a recent or sudden crisis in the US manufacturing sector. After all, as recently as 2010, the United States had the world's largest manufacturing sector measured by its valued-added, and while it has now been surpassed by China, the United States remains a very large manufacturer. On the other hand, there are some potential causes for concern. First, though manufacturing's output share of GDP has remained stable over 50 years, and manufacturing retains a reputation as a sector of rapid productivity improvements, this is largely due to the spectacular performance of one subsector of manufacturing: computers and electronics. Second, recently there has been a large drop in the absolute level of manufacturing employment that many find alarming. Third, the US manufacturing sector runs an enormous trade deficit, equaling $460 billion in 2012, which is also very concentrated in trade with Asia. Finally, we consider the future evolution of the manufacturing sector and its importance for the US economy. Many of the largest US corporations continue to shift their production facilities overseas. It is important to understand why the United States is not perceived to be an attractive base for their production. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Kolesnikova, Natalia A., and Yang Liu.  A Bleak 30 Years for Black Men: Economic Progress Was Slim in Urban America  The Regional Economist July 2010.
Did societal changes translate into economic changes, as well, for blacks? Did earnings of blacks increase relative to earnings of whites? Did the position of black men in the labor force become more secure? How much did educational attainment and skill acquisition improve?

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