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January 9, 2012

PRESS CONTACT: Steven Chlapecka - schlapecka@ppionline.org, T: 202.525.3931

A Simple and Cheap Way to Encourage Insourcing of Jobs

This week, President Obama launches a major effort to promote “insourcing,” the recapture of jobs from overseas. Can insourcing be a major source of job creation for the U.S.? Yes, says Dr. Michael Mandel, PPI’s chief economic strategist.

Mandel points out that there’s a simple and cheap way for Washington to accelerate insourcing of jobs.

“Right now, government statistical agencies provide no information about the relative cost of foreign versus domestic production,” says Mandel. “And there’s no reliable and unbiased way of confirming that U.S. manufacturing costs are globally competitive.”

Mandel has proposed that the Bureau of Labor and Statistics implement a Competitiveness Audit that compares import and domestic production prices across a wide array of goods and services.

“The Competitiveness Audit will help small and medium size businesses identify areas where insourcing makes sense. It will also help guide economic development efforts on the state and local levels.”

In fact, says Mandel, a Competitiveness Audit is essential for ensuring that insourcing succeeds.

“We shouldn’t focus on insourcing jobs where we’ve already lost the battle,” he says. “But better data through a competitiveness audit can pinpoint where we can win back lost ground."

To speak to Dr. Mandel about insourcing and the effect of trade on jobs, please contact him at 201-401-0706, or mmandel@progressivepolicy.org.
The November 2011 PPI policy brief “How a Competitiveness Audit Can Help Create Jobs”.

Mandel’s latest blog post on insourcing.