Did Manufacturing Collapse In the Aughts?

Did Manufacturing Collapse In the Aughts?

What happened to manufacturing in the aughts? The usual story is that employment plummeted but output increased. Apparently manufacturing got a lot more efficient during this period, which is why so many people lost their jobs.

Susan Houseman begs to differ. Using sophisticated decompositions, she finds that it’s all a mirage: computer manufacturing got more efficient, but that’s about it. And even that’s a bit of a mirage due to the way inflation is calculated: it’s not that American workers are making a lot more computers than they used to, it’s that they’re making more MIPS, so to speak. […]

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