Made in America Again AWARE
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Chemical Products

We next consider job losses in chemical manufacturing (NAICS 325).  Here we find Here we find a highly diverse group of intermediate and final products, including: petrochemicals including benzene and other aromatics and liquefied petroleum gases; industrial gases; Inorganic and organic chemicals, coal tar and gum and wood chemicals; fertilizers and pesticides; paints, coatings, and adhesives; synthetic dyes and pigments; printing inks and photographic film, paper, plates and chemicals; plastics materials and resins, synthetic rubber products, and nylon, rayon, and other manufactured fibers; soaps, detergents, polishes and other cleaning products; and pharmaceutical preparations, synthetic organic medicinal chemicals’ diagnostic substances, vaccines and other biologic products, and cosmetic and toilet preparations.

American chemical manufacturing plants, which employed 1,035,600 workers at the beginning of 1990, employed an average 803,600 in 2014.  The following figure and table illustrate those job losses:



The chemical industry shed 56,000 jobs in the 1990s, 40,000 of them between 1993 and 1995, during the time NAFTA was coming into effect.  There followed a rapid fall-off after 2000, coincident with the 2001 recession and the granting of permanent most favored nation status and WTO membership to China.  This decline continued through the Great Recession in 2008-2009, to a low of 783,500 jobs in 2012, for a loss of 196,000 jobs from 2000 to 2012, and a total of 250,000 jobs lost from 1990 through 2012.  Since then, employment has seen a modest increase of some 20,000 jobs, to an average of 803,600 jobs in 2014.

Key Finding:

Between 1990 and 2014, the industries in the chemical manufacturing subsector[i] shed one out of every five jobs, for a decline in employment of 22%, 232,000 jobs in all.


GO TO petroleum and coal products.


[i] The Chemical Manufacturing subsector is based on the transformation of organic and inorganic raw materials by a chemical process and the formulation of products. This subsector distinguishes the production of basic chemicals that comprise the first industry group from the production of intermediate and end products produced by further processing of basic chemicals that make up the remaining industry groups.  The chemical manufacturing subsector consists of these industry groups: Basic Chemical Manufacturing (NAICS 3251); Resin, Synthetic Rubber, and Artificial Synthetic Fibers and Filaments Manufacturing (NAICS 3252); Pesticide, Fertilizer, and Other Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing (NAICS 3253); Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing (NAICS 3254); Paint, Coating, and Adhesive Manufacturing (NAICS 3255); Soap, Cleaning Compound, and Toilet Preparation Manufacturing; (NAICS 3256); and Other Chemical Product and Preparation Manufacturing (NAICS 3259).  [North American Industry Classification System, published at]



News and Events

May 15, 2014, Ontario, CA - MIAA's founder, Jim Stuber, delivered the keynote address at the 20th annual World Trade Conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the California Inland Empire District Export Council in Ontario, California.  To view the conference agenda, click here:

New file download

May 7, 2015, Radnor, PA.  MIAA's founder, Jim Stuber, appeared as the guest of host Richard J. Anthony, Sr. on The Entrepreneur's Network TV at Radnor Studio 21.  The program featured a discussion of the problems caused by offshoring manufacturing and white collar jobs and how consmers can solve the problem with their spending decisions. 

Studio 21 has made the program available for viewing here:

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