This Chart Shows Us Why We Can't Blame China For US Job Losses

The rise of emerging markets like China and Brazil coincided with the long decline of the U.S. manufacturing sector. This has led to some adversarial rhetoric from politicians and pundits, blaming China and others for stealing our jobs. 

An interesting post at VoxEU claims that this trend is vastly overstated. Richard Dobbs, Jan Mischke, and Charles Roxburgh of the McKinsey Global institute estimate that of the 5.8 million American manufacturing jobs lost from 2002-2010, only about one fifth were lost from outsourcing or changes in trade patterns.

The real culprit is an increasingly productive workforce combined with lower demand, particularly during the financial crisis and recession.

Here’s the chart that shows where the losses actually came from:

chart

Photo: VoxEU, McKinsey Global Institute

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