ATLANTA — Contrary to the rhetoric of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — and CNN’s Lou Dobbs, for that matter — free trade continues to greatly benefit American workers.
That was some of the good news from Heritage’s Resource Bank meeting this morning as Ambassador Terry Miller, who directs our Center for International Trade and Economics, moderated a panel on trade. Other experts included CATO Institute’s Daniel Griswold, the IMANI Center for Policy & Education’s Franklin Cudjoe and the Dominican Republic Center for Export and Investment’s Eddy Martinez.
Griswold, who has faced down Dobbs on air, passed around a fact sheet that’s well worth sharing. Check out these facts:
- Trade has had no discernible, negative effect on the number of jobs in the U.S. economy. Our economy is at full employment, with 16.5 million more people working than a decade ago.
- Trade accounts for only about 3 percent of dislocated workers. Technology and other domestic factors displace far more workers.
- Average real compensation per hour paid to American workers, which includes benefits as well as wages, increased by 22 percent in the past decade.
- Median U.S. household income is 6 percent higher in real dollars than it was a decade ago at a comparable point in the previous business cycle. Middle-class households have moved up the income ladder, not down.
- The net loss of 3.3 million manufacturing jobs in the past decade has been overwhelmed by a net gain of 11.6 million jobs in sectors where the average wage is higher than in manufacturing. Two-thirds of the net new jobs created since 1997 are in sectors where workers earn more than in manufacturing.
- The median net worth of U.S. households jumped by almost one-third between 1995 and 2004, from $70,800 to $93,100.