Washington Post (03/20/12) Peter Whoriskey
Federal advisers from the Clinton and Bush administrations attributed job losses in the manufacturing industry in the 2000s to increased productivity. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures indicate that productivity more than doubled from 1991 to 2011. However, some experts believe U.S. statistics showing productivity gains in manufacturing have been miscalculated and misrepresented, noting that price savings realized from outsourcing work to other countries may have been incorrectly included in calculations of U.S. output and productivity. Some experts also note that gains in output from 2000 to 2010 were registered only when computer and electronics products were included with the rest of U.S. manufacturing.
However, they point out that computer and electronics manufacturing has shifted overseas, and gains tied to innovation have been factored into productivity calculations. Rob Atkinson of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation says the fact that U.S. manufacturers have lost their competitive advantage in the global marketplace has contributed to job losses in the industry and that government policy should be changed to bring millions of manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.