DP12839 New Perspectives on the Decline of US Manufacturing Employment
We use relatively unexplored dimensions of US microdata to examine how
US manufacturing employment has evolved across industries, firms, establish-
ments, 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.