A new study of manufacturing employment by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University shows that factory jobs declined by nearly half since the peak in 1979, when there were 21 million manufacturing workers.
But the researchers also found that manufacturing employment grew in some states, all of them west of the Mississippi River. And many communities, such as York, Pa., still see manufacturing as integral to their survival.
The study is part of a year-long project to revisit the 1991 classic work of investigative reporting, "America: What Went Wrong," by the reporting team of Donald Barlett and James Steele. Over the next year, the project team will examine how public policy has shaped America's economic crisis.
The study of manufacturing data found that some states have lost much more than others. In New York, manufacturing jobs are down by three-fourths, in Pennsylvania by two-thirds. The story examines attempts to revive manufacturing, as well as a shift to more high-tech, high-skilled jobs.
An interesting interactive map shows state-by-state, year-by-year shifts in manufacturing employment.
Here are the links:
- Home page for the series
- Interactive map showing changes in manufacturing jobs
- Additional maps showing manufacturing jobs in each state