A Review of the Evidence Finds U.S. Job Loss Chiefly Due to China Trade

Where did all the jobs go?

That’s the American economic question of our time. And it was the question a recent paper from a pair of researchers at the University of Maryland attempted to answer.

From a write-up in the local newspaper The Washington Post:

In a draft paper released by the National Bureau for Economic Research this week, (economists Katharine Abraham and Melissa Kearney) find that trade with China and the rise of robots are to blame for millions of the missing jobs.

Other popular scapegoats, such as immigration, food stamps and Obamacare, did not even move the needle.

What?!

We’re on record here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing saying that fears of job loss to automation may be slightly overblown. We even made a video about it!

But, this working paper certainly confirms our suspicions that Chinese import competition have been a major drag on the American employment market. According to Abraham and Kearney, Chinese imports cost the American economy 2.65 million jobs between 1999 and 2016.

Read more about this new economic research, and you can find the actual paper here.

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Uber Drivers Deserve Legal Rights and Protections

By Kathleen Mackey
USW Intern

In an advisory memo released May 14, the U.S. labor board general counsel’s office stated that Uber drivers are not employees for the purposes of federal labor laws.

Their stance holds that workers for companies like Uber are not included in federal protections for workplace organizing activities, which means the labor board is effectively denying Uber drivers the benefits of forming or joining unions.

Simply stating that Uber drivers are just gig workers does not suddenly undo the unjust working conditions that all workers potentially face, such as wage theft, dangerous working conditions and  job insecurity. These challenges are ever-present, only now Uber drivers are facing them without the protection or resources they deserve. 

The labor board’s May statement even seems to contradict an Obama-era National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling that couriers for Postmates, a job very similar to Uber drivers’, are legal employees.

However, the Department of Labor has now stated that such gig workers are simply independent contractors, meaning that they are not entitled to minimum wages or overtime pay.

While being unable to unionize limits these workers’ ability to fight for improved pay and working conditions, independent contractors can still make strides forward by organizing, explained executive director of New York Taxi Workers Alliance Bhairavi Desai.

“We can’t depend solely on the law or the courts to stop worker exploitation. We can only rely on the steadfast militancy of workers who are rising up everywhere,” Desai said in a statement. 

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