Tags: Pisano | Shih | manufacturing | jobs

Harvard Profs: Old-Style Manufacturing Jobs Aren’t Coming Back

By    |   Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 10:35 AM

Two Harvard Business School professors say that your father’s manufacturing job might be gone for good, but more sophisticated manufacturing jobs remain important for the economy.

Occasional monthly gains in manufacturing employment don’t mean much, the professors — Gary Pisano and Willy Shih — tell Yahoo.

There have been some “blips” higher in the last year or so, Pisano says. But that doesn’t signify a long-term, structural trend.

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“A lot of the jobs that left, they’re not coming back,” he says. “They are low-skilled, lower-wage jobs in a context where we no longer have the capability.”

Increasing productivity growth, which is good for the overall economy, also will continue to reduce the need for manufacturing workers, Pisano says.

But that doesn’t mean manufacturing isn’t important in the United States, the professors say. It’s just that U.S. manufacturing will have to be more sophisticated than what other countries can do for lower prices.

"Manufacturing and the ability to manufacture actually underpins your ability to innovate over the longer term,” Shih says. “Your ability to manufacture drives capabilities in your supplier network, work force and so on."

As for what’s happening in manufacturing now, the government reported Wednesday that industrial production rose 0.4 percent in September.

“The economy is regaining momentum it appeared to have lost in the spring,” Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC bank, tells Bloomberg. “I don’t think manufacturing is down for the count.”

Editor's Note: Obama Donor Banned This Video But You Can Watch it Here

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Two Harvard Business School professors say that your father’s manufacturing job might be gone for good, but more sophisticated manufacturing jobs remain important for the economy.
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2012-35-18
Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 10:35 AM
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