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|User Info||Japan Teeters, Nobody Pays Attention; entered at 2012-02-25 02:13:14|
Registered: 2010-02-11 Indiana
Kind of belated but:|
I have thought about similarities between their situation and ours before I read this Ticker as the debt situation has been discussed. The night it was posted, my wife fell asleep while we were watching television and I was sitting there with the remote, flicking around. Happened to look at the back of the Mitsubishi remote when I saw "Made In China". "What the...? Mitsubi...Made in China?" I couldn't find a manufacturing location for the television itself so I thought it could be just the remote.
When I came upstairs to the computer I decided to search for "Japanese manufacturing outsourced" and found this:
Japan became a powerhouse in electronics years ago and retains that position in some areas. The recent Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami exposed Japanís sole-source positions on several products, including certain semiconductors, BT resin used in IC packaging, and other products. But it also drove home the fact that much of Japanís electronics industry has been outsourced also, perhaps not as much as the U.S., but significant nonetheless...http://www.connectorsupplier.com/tech_up....
From the early 50s until the early/mid-90s, the unemployment rate consistently ran between 1-3%. It's run between 3-5% since.
On this page(Admittedly older data), you have table 12.1 which shows labor force status. Just like us, you have a rise in the population, contraction in the number employed and expansion of those not in the labor force.
Go further down to table 12.2 and you have employment by industry with the main sectors being Primary Industry, Secondary Industry and Tertiary Industry. In this table, primary industry stayed fairly stable through the recession and tertiary industry actually expanded during the same period. Secondary industry is the sector that hadn't recovered as of 2010. That's the sector that includes construction and manufacturing.
Our data set is more convoluted but the strongest "recovery" has been in the service sector while the recovery in the goods producing sector has been fairly lackluster, far off the most recent peak back in 2006.
f t p://ftp.bls.gov/pub/suppl/empsit.tab7.txt (Evidently TF doesn't care for FTP links)
I guess my point is, we tend to think of the US when we think of outsourcing and its effect on our economy and employment situation but Japan looks to be in the same boat. I know the demographics aren't exactly the same and there are differences in how we tabulate our statistics(Japan includes 15 year olds in the population data they use to calculate the labor force, something the US hasn't done since the 60s when 14 and 15 year olds were still counted, if I recall) but both countries have evidently been equally guilty of letting what made them economic powers stagnate and it seems to have started right around the time the WTO was formed. It was also around the time that the Uruguay round of GATT concluded.
Overall, as manufacturing goes, so goes a country's economy. An economy built on anything else is nothing but smoke and mirrors.