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Manufacturing Jobs Betray President, Spin Begins June 3, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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As you faithful readers know, since February 2013 we’ve been tracking President Obama’s (lack of) progress toward his promise to create 1 million manufacturing jobs in 4 years. As we hurtle toward the end of his 4 year timeframe, you can tell by the movement of the mainstream press that things are not going well. Take this article that appeared early last month in the WaPo, where, after noting that Obama has no prayer of making his goal, they start power-spinning:

Of course, employment in the sector could look much worse. The Obama administration led the charge to save the American auto industry in the aftermath of the Great Recession, and mortgage industry bailouts provided a lifeline to builders that otherwise might have disappeared. And an injection of stimulus spending for road and other “shovel-ready” projects offered a shot in the arm.

Longer term, the administration has invested $2 billion in the past four years in community college job-training programs, half going toward skills needed in manufacturing careers, according to White House measurements.

Still, even greater progress has been stymied by larger economic forces. A slowdown in China and weakness overseas triggered a pullback in production, though there have been glimmers of expansion in recent months. Oil prices have plummeted, bringing a pause to the nation’s once-surging energy industry and making it harder to invest in more expensive alternate fuel sources. And some companies continue to move factories outside the United States where labor costs are lower.

As this fellow notes, however, since we lost 2 million manufacturing jobs in the recession, recovering a million shouldn’t have been all that difficult (we’d already recovered 500K by the time he made his promise). In fact, recovering a million jobs wasn’t very ambitious at all – we would still have been 500K short of where we were before the recession.

So yes, yet another supposedly vital, but not-that-challenging economic goal of our administration is headed for the dustbin. Here’s your chart:

ManufJobsJun2016

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