Take laid-off factory workers, for example. Rather than wait for their old jobs to come back, they could act on news that 5 percent of factory jobs – 600,000 jobs – remain unfilled. Employers cannot find enough workers with required skills for new types of “advanced manufacturing” – the kind not found in low-wage, low-innovation China.
Many factory owners have also set up new ways to find and retrain workers, such as the Manufacturing Skills Certification System, or by working closely with local trade schools and community colleges. These manufacturers want to raise the rate of productivity (or the efficiency of inputs such as labor and energy).
Start-ups account for much of recent growth in manufacturing jobs over the past few months. They are the ones that find new ideas and put them into action. Many ideas come from professors of science and technology, although they often need help to commercialize their discoveries.
America remains unique in its openness to an abundance of business ideas. Nearly 6 of 10 people say it is more important for people to be free to pursue their life’s goals without interference from the state, according to a November poll by the Pew Research Center. By comparison, fewer than 4 of 10 people in Britain, Germany, France, and Spain believe the same.
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