If you’re eligible to vote for the next American President, then don’t worry about becoming familiar with these numbers, since you’ll probably hear about them ad infinitum for the next year or so.
A new report from the Economic Policy Institute calculates that America has lost 2.8 million jobs to China in the past decade, with 70 percent coming from manufacturing. 24/7 Wall St. has listed the top ten states that have lost the most jobs due to the shifting rules of global commerce since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
Combined, the ten states lost 1,576,000 jobs to China, good for 56.3 percent of the 2.8 million total jobs lost for all 50 states. The jobs-lost-to-China top ten matches up quite closely with the top ten most populous states, with the lone exception being Massachusetts: the Bay State’s job loss rate punches above its population weight, by coming in at number 9 for jobs lost, while ranking as the 14th most populous state in the Union. Meanwhile, Michigan is the only state in the top ten most populous that isn’t also on the top ten jobs lost to China list.
We have to admit that we find it difficult to blame employers if they found Chinese workers simply too
cheap tempting to turn down. We know full-well that American shoppers love nothing better than finding the lowest possible price for their t-shirts and coffee mugs. So it strikes us as somewhat hypocritical if those same shoppers then criticize employers for trying to find the best bargain available, no matter where it comes from. And for the past decade, China has managed to provide the best bargains for both American manufacturers and shoppers alike.
However, that might gradually be turning into a thing of the past. Despite offering higher wages, factories are now having a difficult time filling their ranks, and analysts and manufacturers are reportedly moving out of China in droves, to jump onboard the Vietnamese bandwagon. Charlie might not surf, but the word is out that they sure can make a mean pair of Nikes.
Click here for the full report on jobs lost to China from the Economic Policy Institute.
(h/t to The Atlantic)