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Factory Jobs and Robots

February 18, 2016

America has certainly lost some factory jobs to robots, but recessions, offshoring and a shrinking share of global exports have cumulatively had a larger effect on such employment over the last 15 years.

Productivity growth and automation always mean doing more with fewer workers, but in the past — when United States growth was steady, new products were made here rather than in China, and our export share was expanding — those who were displaced could cycle back into the industry.