CIRAS Digest: Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015

  • The Newton Daily News says Democratic Iowa legislators are working on a plan to push for a hike in the state’s minimum wage. Republicans, however, appear more interested in job training programs.
  • Yesterday’s Los Angeles Times has an article about California’s failure to join in a nationwide spurt in American manufacturing jobs. (U.S. manufacturing employment up 6.7 percent since February 2010, according to the story, “with some Midwestern and Southern states … seeing gains of 15 percent or more.” California, meanwhile has grown 1 percent.)  The story notes that productivity remains high in many sectors, even if the jobs aren’t there. The ultimate view is that California actually might be ahead of the curve by using machines to make do with fewer people. “It’s happening everywhere,” an economist is quoted as saying. “Because robots will work three shifts, they don’t join unions, and they don’t complain.”
  • Meanwhile, the Huffington Post continues to wonder whether manufacturing is really back. In a preview of tonight’s State of the Union, in which President Barack Obama is expected to tout economic success fueled by manufacturing, the website argues that “the picture President Obama paints of the sector is a little too rosy.”

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