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Another Ted Nesi gem on RI jobs

September 28, 2011

WPRI’s Ted Nesi has this disturbing news about RI factory jobs.

Workers in the Providence area have faced more competition from China’s economy than Americans in any other region except one over the past two decades, a groundbreaking new study has revealed.

Only workers in San Jose, Calif., faced more of a threat from the looming surge in Chinese imports as of 1990, the study found. Communities that were most exposed to competition from China lost more jobs overall and saw bigger growth in the use of government benefits such as disability payments and food stamps through 2007.

“There are really huge adjustment costs to local communities that were far worse than people had appreciated,” study co-author David Autor of MIT told The Wall Street Journal, which first reported his findings. The study defined the Providence area as including all of Rhode Island as well as Bristol County, Mass.

The loss of jobs and the cost to taxpayers of providing government benefits for laid-off workers cancel out a significant portion of the gains from trade with China, the study said.

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