Foxconn & Harley at Crossroads
While the media will try to say Harley’s long-planned plant closing is counterweight to the groundbreaking of the new Foxconn $10.0 billion factory in Milwaukee, it’s not even close. The largest single investment in the United States in history, Foxconn is estimated to create 13,000 jobs.
Let’s consider that at the end of 2016, the overall unemployment rate in Wisconsin was 3.7. Today, its 2.8%, one of the lowest in the country, and the lowest ever on record for the state.
Moreover, manufacturing jobs have returned to the state. Keep in mind, jobs in manufacturing began to rebound after the Great Recession ended. But like most of the country, the bounce ran out of steam with manufacturing jobs peaking in February 2015.
Manufacturing jobs finished at 465,200 in 2016 and now stand at 481,800 up 16,600. Overall, there are 322,000 more manufacturing jobs in the United States.
Ironically, Foxconn’s move is driven in part for it to be in its strongest market, with huge potential growth, and Harley’s move to close plants in America and continue to build around the world is also driven in part to consumer demand, not temporary tariffs.
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