U.S. Manufacturers Diminishing Demand for Labor

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. John Lunn, Hope College

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The manufacturing sector is dwindling in its ability to create and sustain jobs within the United States’ economy. By looking at time series data representing factors such as changes in the flow of investment capital, productivity growth within the manufacturing industry, as well as increasing international competition in the market of manufactured goods and their relationship with the dissipating labor demand by the manufacturing sector there is reason to believe that this is part of a structural change within our economy with some indicators appearing as early as 30 years ago. In light of numerous studies suggesting that the reduction in the manufacturing sector’s overall employment involves a shift in demand that favors skilled relative to unskilled labor, I’d argue that it would be more beneficial for the government to acknowledge this structural change and therefore endorse policies that support the education and training of the unskilled workforce displaced by this transformation, rather than looking for quick fixes through the use of stimulus spending.

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