Current Issues in Economics and Finance

A Leaner, More Skilled U.S. Manufacturing Workforce

February/March 2006Volume 12, Number 2
JEL classification: R1, J44

Authors: Richard Deitz and James Orr

While the U.S. manufacturing sector has contracted sharply since the early 1980s, employment in high-skill manufacturing occupations has risen by an impressive 37percent. An investigation of the growth in high-skill manufacturing jobs reveals that virtually all of the nation’s industries have shared in this trend. Moreover, skill upgrading has occurred in all parts of the country, even those experiencing severe employment losses.

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