Friday, February 18, 2011

Reading the Tea Leaf

I'm reading the Tea Leaf, again.  I have for a few years since I met Jeff at a conference in Columbus.

Jeff Thredgold's latest edition of the Tea Leaf beats the drum on the future of manufacturing in the United States. He nails it.

A factoid from the piece:  "U.S. manufacturing employment actually rose by 136,000 net new jobs during 2010, the first annual increase since 1997."

Another point worth noting:  Jeff, quite delicately, points to the urban-rural issue facing our nation. 

He says, "More American companies based in large metropolitan areas are taking advantage of  'outsourcing' some of their business operations to rural American communities."

Jeff's one paragraph, deftly, gives the justification for why urban policy thinkers and the rest of us don't have to fight a zero sum game.  The move to non-urban areas is an alternative to a move out of the country. 

Companies are, quite simply, going to find exurban and rural areas as more desirable locations for manufacturing facilities. That's no new trend, but Jeff, rightly, sees it as a counter to off-shoring of jobs to other nations.  Right on, Jeff.  Right on.

No comments:

Post a Comment