Laura D'Andrea Tyson, professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, styles herself as one among a rare group of economists who believe that "manufacturing matters" for the health of the American economy.
"I was heartened to hear President Obama emphasize manufacturing in his State of the Union address," she wrote in the New York Times. "During the last two years, the manufacturing sector has led the economic recovery, expanding by about 10 percent and adding more than 300,000 jobs. Admittedly, this is a small number compared with overall private-sector job gains of 3.7 million during the same period, but it reverses the trend of declining manufacturing employment since the late 1990s.
"And promising signs are emerging that American companies are shifting some manufacturing production and employment back to the United States. Policies to strengthen the competitiveness of the United States as a location for manufacturing can strengthen these nascent developments.
"Though there are economists who do not share my heretical view, I believe that a strong manufacturing sector matters - and deserves the attention of policy makers."
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