U.S. Manufacturing Layoffs Declined After China Joined the WTO

From December 2001 to the start of the Great Recession, U.S. manufacturing employment fell despite a reduction in manufacturing layoffs and firings. The obvious conclusion is that most manufacturing job losses resulted from employees voluntarily choosing to leave for better opportunities, not from factory closings resulting from China joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2001.

Note: Figures include layoffs with no intent to rehire; discharges because positions were eliminated; discharges resulting from mergers, downsizing, or plant closings; firings or other discharges for cause; terminations of seasonal employees; and layoffs lasting or expected to last more than 7 days.