Manufacturing Renaissance in the Rust Belt?

Hiring is up in the rust belt. Could tried and true American manufacturing bring back America’s economy?

Case Western Reserve economist and EPRN researcher Susan Helper was a guest on Tom Ashbrook's "On Point" May 24 NPR radio interview-call-in show.

Here's Ashbrook's lead-in to the show: "After years of downsizing and off-shoring, 'American manufacturing' has come to sound like an oxymoron to a lot of Americans. But the buzz this season is about a manufacturing renaissance. Factories opening, reopening. New production lines. More work. While the overall U.S. economy grew 1.9 percent in the first quarter, manufacturing grew more than 9 percent. A “shining star” they’re calling it. Of course, that growth is from a battered baseline. And the wages now? Way down. But still … This hour On Point: the buzz, again, around American manufacturing, and what’s really going on."

Other guests on the show were Peter Coy, economics editor and senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek; Thomas Runiewicz, economist with the U.S. industry practice of IHS Global Insight; and Ben Suarez, founder and CEO of Suarez Corp. Industries.