The U.S. manufacturing sector has been one of the few industries to experience consistent growth over the past two years. The Institute for Supply Management said the domestic manufacturing sector
expanded for the 25th consecutive month in August, but analysts acknowledged activity at U.S. manufacturers has slowed over the past few months.
Nevertheless, for all the gains the U.S. manufacturing sector has achieved over the past few years, it still pales in comparison to the unprecedented growth of China's own production facilities and distribution centers.
China's economy has flourished over the past three decades, with its economic machine churning out billions of dollars worth of consumer products each year. China has used its manufacturing might to build up vast reserves of foreign nations' debt, and it owns more than $1 trillion of U.S. debt obligations.
The Economic Policy Institute recently issued a briefing paper on how China's rise over the past decade has affected the U.S. labor economy, and while the group's findings are not altogether surprising, they underscore how manufacturing companies in the U.S. have suffered as a result of the Asian nation's historic economic ascent.
ECI analysts concluded the growing trade deficit with China eliminated or displaced 2.8 million U.S. jobs between 2001 and 2010
. The organization's report also found all 50 states and the District of Columbia have shed jobs as a result of the trade deficit.
In 2001, the U.S. trade deficit with China stood at $84 billion, according to government data. However, it has ballooned since China joined the World Trade Organization that year, reaching $278 billion in 2010. Over that time period, the trade deficit contributed to the elimination or displacement of roughly 2 percent of total U.S. employment, according to the report.
The trade deficit particularly affected a number of states, with the biggest net job losses
occurring in California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts and Georgia. What's more, in 10 states, the number of displaced jobs exceeded 2.2 percent of total employment.
Of the nearly 2.8 million jobs
lost over the past decade, roughly 1.9 million were in manufacturing. These positions represented nearly half of all U.S. manufacturing jobs cut between 2001 and 2010. The largest share of manufacturing jobs lost to Chinese companies was in computer and electronic parts, analysts asserted. Thirty-two percent of all jobs lost in the sector resulted from the trade deficit.