Thursday, August 12, 2010

Milestone and Trade as an Employment Booster

First of all, this is my 1,000th post. Who would have guessed? Now down to business.

There was a very good article on the Voxeu website. Two economists from the U.S. International Trade Commission suggest trade as a way to build jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector. What I found particularly interesting was the description of upstream and downstream jobs - these are actually services that are related to manufacturing. The upstream jobs are considered part of the productin process in manufacturing. Now on the heels of that item comes two more to help provide context.

The Commerce Department just released trade figures and the trade deficit has widened. But the overall level of trade (which includes jobs in the import sector as well as the export sector) is the highest it has been in 20 months.

One thing to get your students to understand is to look beyond the gap, and to consider the total of imports plus exports. For two different spins on the same data, consider this post on Carpe Diem by Mark Perry, and this post on Planet Money, the NPR economics and personal finance blog.

I'd welcome your thoughts.

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