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Manufacturing & The Economy

Could Federal Agencies Redefine Manufacturing?

Federal agencies are weighing a proposal to change the definition of U.S. manufacturers to include factoryless goods producers, “firms that handle every part of making their products except the actual fabrication.” The proposed change, writes Timothy Aeppel of The Wall Street Journal, “could affect everything from the monthly jobs report to producer inflation figures” which supporters of the measure say “is simply driven by a desire to properly account for the effects of globalization.” But critics say this change would simply “gloss over the erosion of domestic manufacturing.”

According to a research paper released last year by Dartmouth College, “the estimated the redefinition would have added anywhere from 431,000 to nearly two million workers to the manufacturing sector in the 2007 Census survey.”

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