Hicks: Candidates Misrepresent Manufacturing Data
The director of Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research says claims from presidential candidates that the country’s manufacturing industry is struggling are false. Michael Hicks says the nation’s manufacturing sector have recovered from the Great Recession.
In a study published last year, "The Myth and Reality of Manufacturing in America," Hicks said the manufacturing sector remains a large and important part of the U.S. economy and it continues to grow. He calls the candidates’ claims to the opposite "peddling untruths."
"During recent visits to Indiana for the primaries, these candidates claim that Indiana is suffering, but the state had a record year for manufacturing’s value of goods produced in both 2014 and 2015," says Hicks. "They also claim that bad policies are causing manufacturers to send jobs overseas or to Mexico. However, research shows that increasing productivity accounts for 88 percent of job losses in manufacturing."
Hicks adds there are major misunderstandings among the public and the media regarding the manufacturing sector. "The U.S. manufacturing base is not in decline, and we have recovered from the recession. Nor are jobs being outsourced because American manufacturing can’t compete internationally. Moreover, new jobs in manufacturing pay well above the average wage."
The claims come as Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) announced it was moving manufacturing operations to Mexico, leaving some 2,100 employees in Indianapolis and Huntington out of work. Hicks says less than 4 percent of all manufacturing jobs lost over the past decade can be linked to international trade.
You can view Hicks’ study below: