Ohio has lost 3,500 factories over last 10 years, stats show

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  1. hvactec

    hvactec VIP Member

    Jan 17, 2010
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    New Jersey
    The loss shows the impact on Ohio of moving jobs overseas.


    MORAINE — Data from the federal government show that Ohio lost 3,500 manufacturing businesses in the past 10 years, including 200 in Montgomery County and about 130 in other Miami Valley counties.

    The loss of those businesses has cut the state’s annual manufacturing payroll by $7.8 billion, the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show.

    The losses track the impact of offshoring — the moving of jobs overseas — by multinational companies and the economy’s slide into the Great Recession. The data also shed light on the current debate over a $6 trillion cumulative trade deficit that piled up over a decade, and whether the U.S. should put more pressure on China to stop manipulating its currency, which undercuts domestic manufacturing.

    The issue has split three top Ohio legislators who have pivotal roles in the debate. Ohio Sens. Rob Portman, a Republican, and Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, believe the U.S. should take a harder line toward China by punishing currency manipulation. However, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester Twp., said the move jeopardizes U.S.-China relations.

    Boehner’s refusing to allow a House vote on an anti-currency manipulation bill.

    “While I believe Ohioans deserve a level playing field when it comes to trade with China, I oppose this legislation because it will hurt our economy and result in fewer jobs for Ohioans,” he told the Dayton Daily News on Friday.

    Boehner said China is the United States’ third-largest market for U.S. goods, and is the largest export market for United States’ agricultural products

    His opinion is not shared by Republican Congressional Reps. Mike Turner, R-Centerville, and Steve Austria, R-Beavercreek, who both co-sponsored the bill.

    “We only have to look at the Miami Valley economy to see the need to address our trade imbalance with China. I will continue to support measures which increase the United States’ competitiveness and to stop unfair trade practices,” Turner said.

    Boehner did tell the Dayton Daily News he’d reconsider his decision to hold up the bill if President Obama would agree to sign it into law.

    What does data mean?

    The data illustrate the steep decline in products made in Ohio and across the U.S. and raises questions about when a durable jobs recovery could begin.

    The number of manufacturing operations in Ohio fell 18 percent from 19,697 to 16,159 over the past 10 years. That has led to the loss of 369,097 jobs in Ohio since 2001, the data show.

    Nationally, the number of factories fell 14 percent from 401,962 to 342,941.

    The businesses include auto and processing plants, canneries, refineries, mills and consumer goods factories. Figures were gathered from employer-generated reports covering 98 percent of U.S. jobs, the bureau said.

    Local numbers

    In Montgomery County, the number of manufacturing businesses fell 21 percent from 1,010 in 2001 to 810 businesses in 2011.

    “These new numbers show that Dayton’s manufacturing base has been particularly hard hit, in part because the Chinese government illegally undercuts Ohio workers and companies by manipulating its currency,” Brown said.

    Few local communities have been as hard hit as Moraine, which lost 10,000 manufacturing jobs in a decade, said City Manager Dave Hicks. He’s working to find businesses for five million square feet of vacant manufacturing plant space, including a closed former GM plant.

    For Hicks, fixing the nation’s trade imbalance should be job No. 1. “America is like that nice guy you know who is being taken advantage of, and it can’t go on forever. We can’t be taken advantage of forever.”

    Peter Morici, former chief economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission, says the manufacturing bust from offshoring by multinationals is at the core of why the economy remains sluggish. It explains why government operations are harder to fund and people can’t find jobs.

    In a nutshell, Americans no longer make enough of the things they use every day and rely on exports from abroad, primarily China and offshored multinational factories, to fill the gap.

    China produced more than 40 percent of all consumer goods purchased in the U.S. last year, according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. In 2010, the U.S. trade deficit with China was $273 billion, half the total national trade deficit with imported oil making up the rest.

    “Economists agree the recovery is weak and a second recession threatens, because the U.S. economy suffers from too little demand for what Americans make. Every dollar that goes abroad to purchase oil or Chinese consumer goods that does not return to purchase exports is lost purchasing power that could be creating jobs. Halving the nearly $550 billion annual trade deficit would create at least five million jobs,” Morici said.

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