DP12839 New Perspectives on the Decline of US Manufacturing Employment

Author(s): Teresa C Fort, Justin Pierce, Peter K. Schott
Publication Date: April 2018
Keyword(s): technology, Trade, US manufacturing employment
JEL(s): E24, F6, J6
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12839

We use relatively unexplored dimensions of US microdata to examine how US manufacturing employment has evolved across industries, firms, establishments, and regions from 1977 to 2012. We show that these data provide support for both trade-and technology based explanations of the overall decline of employment over this period, while also highlighting the difficulties of estimating an overall contribution for each mechanism. Toward that end, we discuss how further analysis of these trends might yield sharper insights.