Politicians of all faiths like to tell a gathering that they will bring back jobs. Sounds fine and just what most people want to hear. The tough part is when you ask the question how that is to be done. Will we allow fair completion between union and non-union shops? Do we cut back on government red tape, regulations, and fees per project? Can we compete with China and Brazil and would you pay more, or could you pay more, for a washer or sneakers made in this country? We haven't in the past so why do we think it will change.
Massachusetts state government has worked to keep high-technology manufacturers like solar, energy and robotics firms in state, but the state is unlikely to rebuild its manufacturing workforce even to pre-recessionary levels, Economic Development Secretary Gregory Bialecki acknowledged in an interview with the Boston Business Journal, Friday.
In fact, the number of manufacturing jobs in the Bay State is likely to decline from this point forward, he said.
“If you promised me that 20 years from now we'd only have the same number of people working in manufacturing as we did today I would take your offer in a second,” Bialecki said.
Massachusetts manufacturing jobs had long been on a steady decline when the recession began. They hit a low in December 2009, at about 250,000. They’ve crept back up, since, to above 270,000 - but remain shy of the more than 280,000 the sector employed before the recession hit.