During an interview on Full Focus, I was asked why San Diego was losing manufacturing jobs. Since we were talking about year-over-year job growth, I considered what could have changed in the past year to affect manufacturing employment, and answered with the oft-used “I don’t know.” (I’m not exactly the most poised television personality).

I had to slap my forehead when KPBS viewer Mike H. sent an email setting me straight. The right answer was that nothing had changed over the past year to cause the manufacturing job losses. What we were seeing was simply the continuance of the well-documented trend in which increased outsourcing to low-cost offshore manufacturers, notably China, has led to declining manufacturing activity here in the United States.

The accompanying chart shows that this trend has been going on for almost a decade. Last year’s loss of San Diego manufacturing jobs was just more of the same.


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