Manufacturing jobs will disappear - no matter where you are

Just as the agricultural share of employment has fallen from 40% in the 1920s to less than 2% of the workforce in Europe today, manufacturing’s share of employment will fall to less than 5% of employment.

That is not just for Europe, according to Adair Turner’s excellent dinner speech, but that is across the world. He has pointed out that it is not an issue of international transfer of jobs (although it dominates headlines) but it is because of innovation which makes the productivity of (manufacturing) labour increasinglty higher. As that happens, less and less labour input will be needed to prodcue the tangile products we need - hey, even China’s manufacturing workforce has been falling for a decade - and the logical conclusion of such a tendency is that we won’t need as much labour.

There is definetly something to the notion that theory is only interesting when their logical conclusions are scary or surprising. This one is both…

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