Manufacturing Sharp Decline

Manufacturing shrinks to lowest level since 2001:

A measure of U.S. manufacturing activity contracted more than expected last month, hitting the lowest level since the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, as new orders slowed dramatically.

The Institute for Supply Management on Wednesday released a September reading of 43.5, the lowest level since October 2001. The reading dropped from 49.9 in August, the largest one-month decline since January, 1984, when it fell to 60.5 from 69.9.

A reading above 50 signals growth.

Financial Times notes:

China to Surpass U.S. by Next Year in Manufacturing

Speaking of China, look at what CBS Market Watch is reporting:

China is forecast to surpass the United States as the world's leading manufacturer in nominal dollar terms next year, earlier than expected, as the U.S. economy slows down and China's continues to grow at unprecedented rates, according to consulting firm Global Insight.

Mexican Auto Workers cut wages to "compete" with China

This is pretty astounding. Mexico's auto unions agree to cut wages:

Wage concessions were apparently key to persuading Ford Motor Co. to direct many of the 4,500 new jobs involved in building Fiestas to the Ford plant in Cuautitlan, on the outskirts of Mexico City. Union leaders at the plant told The Associated Press they had agreed to cut wages for new hires to about half of the current wage of $4.50 per hour.

"We agreed to it," said Ford union leader Juan Jose Sosa Arreola. "We need to be more competitive. That's the truth. That's a reality."

Congressional Hearing, May 22, Thursday, 10am, EST - Must watch! Outsourcing

A hearing that will probably have a lot of good information about globalization and US jobs is happening this Thursday. There usually is a webcast to watch these, so I want to give ya all a heads up about it. I will also write about it after the hearing is over. Details:

Hearing to Examine How to Encourage U.S. Corporations to Invest at Home, Not Abroad

Title: American Decline or Renewal?-Globalizing Jobs and Technology

Committee: House Science and Technology Committee, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight

When: Thursday, May 22nd, 10 A.M. to 1 P.M.

Where: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2318

*Please see the Committee announcement (attached) for more information.