State loses 10,700 jobs to China

As August’s Summer Olympics open in Beijing, America’s top athletes aren’t the only homegrown product headed to China. A new study found that some of America’s — and Nevada’s — best jobs have decamped to the People’s Republic as well.

The Silver State lost 10,700 jobs to China from 2001 to 2007, according to an analysis from the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. The losses, which account for actual jobs shed as well as positions that went unformed, include more than 1,650 posts in food services and hotels. Also gone: blue-collar manufacturing jobs; manufacturing support services such as transportation; science and engineering jobs related to manufacturing; and advanced technology jobs, said Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, which commissioned the study.

The nation lost 2.3 million jobs to China in the same period, the report said.

Local economists respond that the number of Nevada jobs shipped to China pales in comparison to overall job formation here. Nevada businesses added 240,500 positions from 2001 to 2007, according to numbers from the state’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. That includes 34,400 jobs in hotels and 6,900 positions in manufacturing. Nevada has clocked in as the only state with any recent manufacturing growth, said Ray Bacon, executive director of the Nevada Manufacturers Association.

Bacon said he couldn’t think offhand of Nevada manufacturers that sent jobs directly to China. He cited a maker of foams for flower bouquets that shuttered its Dayton operation about seven years ago and moved to South Korea, where its market was expanding. He also pointed to a Sparks manufacturer of ear-protection muffs that consolidated operations in its Michigan plant after less-expensive Chinese earmuffs took over the U.S. marketplace. Both companies had 20 or 30 workers, Bacon said, and they paid anywhere from $12 to more than $15 an hour at the time they closed.

“Our losses have been relatively minor, and most of the time they’ve been situations where the jobs in Nevada wouldn’t have moved except for the fact that the main product they were supplying moved,” Bacon said. “Instead of the jobs directly moving to China, the marketplace moved to China.”

As for the 1,650 jobs the EPI said Nevada dropped in food service and hotels, state economist Bill Anderson said a variety of factors make it difficult to pinpoint whether direct competition from China forced the losses. Some big casinos, such as the 1,800-employee Stardust, have closed in recent years, but they’re making way for even bigger developments. The 10,000- employee Echelon is scheduled to replace the Stardust in 2010.

“It’s not like a hotel will close and shift its operations from the Las Vegas Strip to China,” said Anderson, chief economist at the employment department.

But job numbers are only part of the problem, Paul said.

Nationally, among workers whose jobs went to China, 31 percent had four-year college degrees, and more than 50 percent landed in the upper half of the country’s wage structure, he said. Their replacement jobs pay, on average, $8,146 less annually. That cost the American economy $19.4 billion in 2007. Lower salaries also suppress pay gains across the board, and they mean lower tax revenue for state and local governments, Paul added.

Bacon agreed that the report’s findings reflect turbulence in American industry.

He estimated that as many as 80 percent of his group’s members aren’t hiring right now. And any study that points to weakness in U.S. manufacturing should raise alarms.

“The sectors of the U.S. economy that truly add value are the sectors that produce something, whether it’s goods, minerals that come out of the earth or food products,” Bacon said. “Those sectors are mining, agriculture and manufacturing. When those sectors are weak, we’re in trouble, and those sectors are all weak.”

Trade with China has its positive side, Bacon said.

Nevada manufacturers that buy cheaper goods and commodities from China can reduce their costs and retain more workers, he said.

What’s more, Silver State companies enjoyed jumps in business from contracts overseas. Statistics from the Nevada Commission on Economic Development show a 10 percent increase in Nevada exports in the most recent quarter when compared with a year earlier. Shipments of industrial equipment rose 70 percent. Nevada companies including diving-board makers, language phrase-book publishers and landscape architects landed contracts related to the 2008 Summer Olympics that begin in Beijing on Aug. 8.

Nevada got off easy in the EPI’s analysis when compared with most other states. Two-thirds of jobs lost nationwide were in manufacturing, Paul said, and the Silver State’s relatively small manufacturing base — industry is just 4 percent of the state’s economy — protected it from the bigger drops that visited factory-heavy states.

Nevada lost about 1 percent of the state’s 2001 job base. Idaho topped the list of states in share of jobs that went to China, with 2.59 percent, or 14,700 positions, gone overseas. California ranked No. 5, with 2.23 percent, or 325,800 jobs, shipped to China. Hawaii sent the lowest percentage of its jobs to China, losing 0.74 percent, or 4,100 positions.

“In a sense, we’re somewhat sheltered relative to the impacts of job outsourcing,” Anderson said. “Our manufacturing sector has held up relatively well.”

It would hold up better if U.S. policymakers encouraged China to uphold the agreements it struck when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, Paul said. That means urging the Chinese to eliminate subsidies for the country’s manufacturers, asking them to stop fixing the value of their currencies and demanding that they enforce laws protecting intellectual property.

“We really need a little more pressure on China to make sure it’s honoring the commitments it made to gain greater access to our market,” Paul said.

Economic pressures could also restore American jobs transferred overseas.

High fuel prices have made it uneconomical to continue sending some manufacturing work to China, Bacon said. Printing jobs and furniture-making in particular are poised to return stateside, he said. Plus, wages in China annually jump anywhere from 15 percent for assembly-line workers to 200 percent for managers, and those increases could make China less of a bargain in the long run, Bacon said.

“We will be competitive again with the Chinese in 20 years,” Bacon said. “It’s just going to be hell for that 20 years.”

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at jrobison@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4512.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
MGM Grand Plans To Add Retail And Dining To Its Strip Facade
MGM Grand President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella said executives are “discussing redeveloping that entire frontage of the building out to the Las Vegas Strip.” (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Boyd Gaming planning new corporate campus
Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. has filed plans to build a new corporate campus. The plans call for two 10-story office buildings and a six-level parking garage in the southwest Las Vegas Valley. Boyd Gaming operates The Orleans, the Suncoast, downtown's California Hotel and other properties. The new headquarters would be just a mile from its current main office building.
Bellagio Conservatory transformed to celebrate Year of the Pig
The Bellagio Conservatory Team transformed the 14,000 square foot conservatory to commemorate Chinese New Year, the holiday that marks the end of the coldest days of winter. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Intro uses sound to connect people
Intro, a startup that is part of the Future Worlds Accelerator in the UK, has an app that uses ultrasonic sound to find people and companies nearby.
CES 2019 Video: CES wraps up another year
Time-lapse video of the action at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Create your own beauty products
Beauty Mix by BeautyByMe is a product that lets you create your own cosmetics and beauty products. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Picobrew’s home brew machine
Picobrew brings automation to homebrewing. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Surviving CES
What it's like to spend four days working the mammoth tech convention. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Haier’s smart home
Haier presented smart home technology at CES 2019.
CES 2019 VIDEO: Foldimate makes laundry day easy
Foldimate has created a machine that will fold your laundry for you. Just feed it anything you need folded and it will do the rest. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Opte device corrects skin spots
Opte from Proctor and Gamble is a device for correcting spots and freckles from skin. It analyzes the area for spots and then covers them with a serum of matching skin tone. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas unveiled
Derek Stevens reveals Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas. He plans open by the end of 2020. (K.M Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa, new casino coming to Fremont Street
Casino owner Derek Stevens announces his new property Circa, coming to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas in late 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dreenk My Oeno makes wine suggestions
At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the Dreenk My Oeno tells you all about wine.
Polaroid One Step Plus camera unveiled at CES 2019
Polaroid has moved into the digital age with its One Step Plus camera with Bluetooth. With the connected app, it turns your smartphone into a remote for the camera, along with filters and features.
Amazon is everywhere at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Seemingly everything works with Amazon Alexa
LG Smart Mirror helps you dress snazzy
LG’s Smart Mirror is less of a mirror but more of an assistant to help get you looking snazzy. It takes your image and recommends clothes for you or matches existing clothes with new clothes, which can be purchased right from the mirror. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Underwater robots make waves at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Robosea is a company dedicated to underwater robotics. They produce consumer robots for underwater filming as well as commercial products which can be used for underwater research. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019 - Victrola record players spin in Las Vegas
A new spin on an old favorite, Victrola record players are meeting a demand for retro products. The brand is also making furnitures with built-in speakers.
CES 2019: Slamtec robots ready to serve
Slamtec is a robotics company out of China whose goal is to provide solutions for laser localization mapping and navigation. They have created two autonomous robots that can be used in areas such as bars, restaurants and malls. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mixologiq drink maker appears at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
This is the Mixologiq drink maker.
CES 2019: Veritable smart garden
Let’s face it; not all of us have green thumbs. And herbs are particularly difficult to grow, considering their constant need for sunshine. Enter the Veritable smart garden from Exky, which does it all for you. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas being sold to developer
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas is being sold to a developer, set to close in March. Bonnie Springs, west of Las Vegas off State Route 159 — next to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park — spans more than 60 acres and was on the market for $31 million. The developer and his project partner are under contract to buy the ranch and plan to chop it up mostly into custom-home lots. The plans includes a 25-room motel, a restaurant and a 5,400-square-foot event barn.
Bone-conduction headphones form Aftershokz
Aftershokz offers bone-conduction headphones - headphones that don’t go in the ear.
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Autonomous Cars and Futuristic Aircraft Rule CES
Day two of CES was dominated by autonomous cars and futuristic aircraft in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
TekNekSavr fights neck problems caused by smart phones
Atiya Syverson invented the TekNekSavr to help fight neck and head problems caused by strains while typing on smart phones. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New eyeglasses know if you fall and call for help
The French company Abeye has created eye glasses that will detect if the wearer falls and call for help. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Company that creates vibrator-like device claims genders bias against CES
Lora DiCarlo is a women-run start-up that creates a vibrator-like device designed for female pleasure called the Osé. This year they were awarded the CES Innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone Category, but a month later the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, rescinded the award and their booth. Haddock and her team believe it is a reflection of gender bias and sexism in an industry with a long history of male domination.
CES-Wagz has new pet products
Wagz has three new products to help create better lives for your pets in a digital world. One is a collar with LTE tracking and an HD camera. Also a smart pet door that only lets your pet in and out. Lastly, a device to humanely keep Fluffy out of certain areas of your home. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like