Since 2001, when China entered the World Trade Organization, at least 2.4 million American jobs have been lost as a result of increased U.S. trade with that country, according to a new study by the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank.
The analysis , done by economist Robert Scott and released March 31, points to China's emergence in manufacturing — particularly in the computer and electronics parts industries — as a major driver of a growing trade imbalance between the United States and China. The analysis finds that the imbalance has disproportionately affected high-tech and traditional manufacturing states.
According to the study, the five states hit hardest by China's emergence — in jobs lost as a percentage of their overall employment — are New Hampshire (2.35 percent), North Carolina (2.30 percent), Massachusetts (2.25 percent), California (2.23 percent) and Oregon (2.19 percent). Other states that also saw significant job losses because of China's rise are Minnesota, Rhode Island, Alabama, Idaho and South Carolina.
The states that were least affected by increased trade with China are North Dakota, Hawaii, Montana, Alaska and Wyoming.
At least in New Hampshire, the state has made up for losses in the high-tech sector because it has a diverse economy, state officials told The (Manchester) Union-Leader , which notes that New Hampshire has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation.
In an interview with the paper, Scott said that while the federal government must address the problem of the U.S. trade deficit with China, states also can help boost their own fortunes.
"States can invest more in industrial policies, developing regional industrial centers, working with community colleges to build educational programs linked directly to manufacturing companies (and) developing demand for new manufacturing products," he said.