FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 25, 2001
CONTACT: Economic Policy Institute
Nancy Coleman or Karen Conner, 202-775-8810
Trade Deals Cost Good Jobs In Every State
NAFTA & WTO Spark State Losses as High as 5.8 Percent of Total Labor Force
WASHINGTON - October 25 - Since 1994, when the North American Free Trade
Agreement and the World Trade Organization came into being, more than 3
million jobs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have fallen victim
to U.S. trade policies as net job losses accelerated sharply. This is the
major finding of an analysis released today by the Economic Policy Institute
of recently released Census Bureau data.
EPI's study, "Fast Track to Lost Jobs," shows that a long-term trend of net
job losses in trade-sensitive industries accelerated after NAFTA and WTO.
This troubling trend, which grew largely undetected just under the surface of
the recent economic boom, spells trouble ahead as the downturn deepens, say
"NAFTA and WTO have been equal opportunity destroyers, hitting every state
without exception," said Robert Scott, the senior EPI economist who analyzed
the job loss data. "During the boom, the loss of good manufacturing and other
trade-related jobs was masked by rapid growth elsewhere, primarily in the
volatile high tech and lower-wage service sectors. Now that we're in a
slowdown and the rest of the economy is no longer generating enough jobs to
take up the slack, these trade-induced job losses will magnify the downward
The job losses revealed in "Fast Track to Lost Jobs" have been studiously
ignored, even denied, by fast track supporters inside and outside the Bush
administration, who have reported only on the impact of increasing exports
and while ignoring the job-destroying impact of more rapidly increasing
"For the U.S. economy, these trade deficit-induced job losses are the
600-pound gorilla in the corner," said Scott. "Fast track supporters have
ignored him because he's inconvenient -- but to keep doing so just makes him
a greater risk."
Among the details reported by EPI are the following:
-- Nationwide, net job losses from U.S. international trade deficits totaled
3,044,241 from 1994 to 2000
-- equal to 2.3 percent of the nation's total workforce.
-- Job losses have shot up six times faster since NAFTA and WTO than during
the five years immediately before they went into effect.
-- Every state and the District of Columbia lost jobs equaling at least 1.2
percent of their workforce because of U.S. trade policies under NAFTA and the
-- Ten states lost more than 100,000 jobs: California (310,000), Texas
(228,000), New York (179,000), Michigan (152,000), Pennsylvania (142,000),
Illinois (140,000), Ohio (135,000), North Carolina (133,000), Indiana
(103,000), and Florida (100,000).
-- The 10 states suffering the highest rates of job losses are Rhode Island
(5.8 percent), North Carolina (3.7 percent), Maine (3.6 percent), Tennessee
(3.6 percent), Indiana (3.4 percent), Mississippi (3.3 percent), Michigan
(3.2 percent), Alabama (3.1 percent), Arkansas (3.1 percent), and South
Carolina (3.0 percent). (For full list, see report, Table 2B.)
-- Nearly two out of every three jobs lost were in manufacturing. (1.97
million out of 3.04 million).
-- In some manufacturing sub-sectors, job losses rose at extraordinary rates:
497.2 percent in transportation equipment; 448.6 percent in communications
equipment; 363.8 percent in paper and allied products; 308.7 percent in
petroleum refining and related products; and 207.5 percent in fabricated
metal products (excluding machinery and transportation equipment).
-- Outside manufacturing, the sectors that experienced the most rapid
acceleration of job losses were: financial, insurance and real estate (201.6
percent); communications (195.6 percent); construction (188.8 percent); and
transportation (180.9 percent).
In tracking job losses that are due to U.S. trade policies under NAFTA and
the WTO, EPI takes into account both actual job losses and potential jobs, or
job opportunities, lost as a result of increasing U.S. trade deficits. The
lost opportunities are positions that would have been created if the trade
deficit had not accelerated since 1994.
National Report Available Under Embargo On The Web To access an embargoed
copy of "Fast Track to Lost Jobs" go to:
http://www.epinet.org/press/011023a.pdf and enter the password: wages.
Follow-up State-by-State Report to be Online Soon By 5 p.m. (Eastern) on
Thursday, Oct. 25, a follow-up report, including detailed state-by-state and
industry-by-industry breakdowns of job losses, will be posted to the EPI Web
site. That address will be: http://www.epinet.org/press/011023b.pdf and the
password for accessing it is the same: wages.
The Economic Policy Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan economic think
tank founded in 1986. The Institute is located on the Web at