MEDIA RELEASE: NC has lost more than 100K jobs due to growing China trade deficit

North Carolina is sixth among U.S. states in jobs lost to the trade gap, a report co-released by the Economic Policy Institute and the NC Budget & Tax Center finds

RALEIGH (Sep. 20, 2011) -- The U.S.-China trade deficit has eliminated or displaced nearly 2.8 million U.S. jobs since 2001, a new report finds.  North Carolina lost more jobs from this gap than all but five other U.S. states.
According to an Economic Policy Institute (EPI) briefing paper co-released by the NC Budget & Tax Center this morning, North Carolina lost more jobs due to the trade gap than all but five other states.
North Carolina lost 107,800 jobs, according to the report.
The paper, Growing U.S. trade deficit with China cost 2.8 million jobs between 2001 and 2010 by Robert Scott, EPI’s Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research, finds that all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico suffered jobs lost or displaced as a result of the growing U.S.-China trade deficit.
The biggest net losses, in terms of the total number of jobs displaced, occurred in California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts and Georgia. 
These jobs losses have also a major impact on total employment in North Carolina. In ten states, the jobs lost or displaced exceeded 2.2% of total employment.  These states are New Hampshire, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, North Carolina, Minnesota, Idaho, Vermont, Colorado and Rhode Island.
The job losses in North Carolina represent 2.61 percent of total employment, the report says.
“The trade deficit has significantly harmed North Carolina’s employment picture,” said Alexandra Forter Sirota, director of the NC Budget & Tax Center. “This report highlights the need for policymakers to take action now to create jobs and particularly focus on the state’s manufacturing sector.”
The trade deficit with China grew from $84 billion in 2001, when China entered the WTO, to $278 billion in 2010.   It eliminated or displaced 2,790,100 jobs, or about 2 percent of total U.S. employment over that period.  
Of the nearly 2.8 million jobs lost or displaced, 1.9 million of them were in manufacturing.  These jobs represent nearly half of all U.S. manufacturing jobs lost between 2001 and 2010.  The largest share of manufacturing jobs lost or displaced were in computer and electronic parts, at 909,400 jobs, or 32 percent of all jobs lost or displaced.  Other hard-hit sectors of the manufacturing industry were apparel and accessories, textile fabrics and products, fabricated metal products, plastic and rubber products and motor vehicles and parts.  Service industries, including administrative, support and waste management services experienced significant job displacement.
Increases in U.S. exports tend to create jobs in the United States, and increases in imports tend to lead to job loss.  Thus, a growing trade deficit signifies growing job loss.  The trade deficit with China is exacerbated by the currency manipulation.  Because China has pegged its currency to the U.S. dollar instead of allowing it to fluctuate freely, the yuan has remained artificially low, effectively subsidizing Chinese exports and artificially raising the cost of U.S. exports.  U.S. goods are less competitive in China and in countries where U.S. exports compete with those from China.
The impact of the trade deficit with China extends beyond U.S. jobs lost or displaced.  Competition with China and countries like it has resulted in lower wages and less bargaining power for U.S. workers in manufacturing and for all workers with less than a four-year college degree.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Alexandra Forter Sirota, director, NC Budget & Tax Center,, 919.861.1468; Jeff Shaw, director of communications, NC Justice Center,, 503.551.3615 (mobile); Karen Conner, Economic Policy Institute, 202-331-5542.
The N.C. Budget and Tax Center--a project of the N.C. Justice Center-- seeks to create economic opportunity and shared prosperity for all North Carolinians through non-partisan research, education and advocacy on budget, tax and economic issues.