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Utah Job Loss During the NAFTA-WTO Period

Find Specific Layoffs Caused by Offshoring and Imports in Utah

Utah gained only 11,101 manufacturing jobs (or 10.2 percent) during the NAFTA-WTO period (1994-2015), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.* This figure is for total manufacturing employment, so it takes into account both jobs created by exports and jobs displaced by imports, among other causes of net job change. The percentage of all private sector jobs that are manufacturing jobs in Utah declined from 16.7 percent to 10.9 percent during the NAFTA-WTO period.

These are aggregate numbers, but the Department of Labor tracks instances of specific workers at specific workplaces who applied for special benefits for trade-displaced workers. In Utah, there are 15,546 such workers certified as having lost their job due to imports or offshoring under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. (Note: This program is difficult to qualify for, and this figure only includes those workers who were certified.)

The Economic Policy Institute found that by 2010, 5,400 jobs had been lost or displaced in Utah – and over 700,000 in the United States – due to the rise in the trade deficit with Mexico alone since NAFTA was enacted in 1994.

The Economic Policy Institute also found that by 2013, 27,000 jobs had been lost or displaced in Utah  – and over 3.2 million in the United States – due to the rise in the trade deficit with China since it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

* The latest available manufacturing employment data is for the second quarter of 2015. The change in the number of manufacturing jobs is defined here as the change between the third quarter of 1993 and the fourth quarter of 2015 to account for seasonal employment variations.