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Employment Deindustrialization: Understanding Jobless Growth in the Manufacturing Industry

Author Gil Eunsun(길은선) Date 2020.06.30 Series
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Deindustrialization in advanced countries(especially in the United States) has been discussed since the 1980s, but what we actually have observed is a distinct pattern of employment deindustrialization rather than a severe decline in the output share of manufacturing. Meanwhile, the service industry’s share of GDP has been growing in most advanced countries, and some policymakers argue that future growth strategies for advanced economies should focus on the service sector. In this article, I reassess the role of the manufacturing industry in the overall economy’s production growth and employment through a cross-country comparison. Then, I focus on the manufacturing industry in South Korea to illustrate how the sector has produced more with fewer workers, leading to the recent emergence of a jobless growth pattern.