Edited by John R. Bryson, Jennifer Clark and Vida Vanchan
Chapter 24: Stability amid industrial change: the geography of U.S. deindustrialization since 1980
Between 1979 and 1983, the U.S. manufacturing industry shed more than 12 percent of its total workforce, a devastating development that spurred urban economic development innovations across the country and led to the widespread acceptance of the previously controversial neologism “deindustrialization” (Bluestone and Harrison, 1982). The subsequent search for potential job growth in a revamped manufacturing sector has taken many turns, from the prospective identification of stable, new firm networks (Piore and Sabel, 1986; Scott, 1988) to theories of sticky employment in vital urban regions (Markusen, 1996; Storper, 1997) to the embrace of local-serving industries immune from capital flight (Doussard, 2013; Markusen and Schrock, 2009). These developments have produced important questions about economic restructuring in individual regions and industries. But characterizations of manufacturing in the aggregate continue to conceptualize the resurgence of older industries and regions as straightforward results of global dynamics, particularly those seen as likely to sway firms toward “reshoring” previously dispatched industrial activities (Atkins et al., 2011; Friedhoff et al., 2010; Helper et al., 2012), marginalizing important evidence about the spatially, industrially and occupationally uneven character of renewed manufacturing growth.
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