Changing Workforce

Study suggests factory wages too low to support Rust Belt renaissance promised by Trump

By the Washington Times

May 16, 2017

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Rank-and-file production workers now lag behind much of the rest of the economy in terms of paychecks, forcing economists to wonder whether the push for more factories is desirable in the first place.

Even the service industry, long dismissed as second-tier employment, averages higher wages than factory laborers, according to a study by the Congressional Research Service that casts doubt on President Trump’s promise of a Rust Belt renaissance.

“The strong middle-class entree that the manufacturing industry offered two generations ago is no longer really there,” said Michael J. Hicks, an economics professor at Ball State University in Muncie, IN.

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