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May 17, 2006

Two manufacturing industries

Most people have the opinion that manufacturing is a dying industry in our country. But N.C. State University's Mike Walden says that's not a fair evaluation.

"We really have two different manufacturing industries in our country and, indeed, here in North Carolina," says Dr. Walden, an economist with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. "On the one hand, we have what’s called the nondurable manufacturing sector. These are companies that make things that last only a very short period of time.

"Here in North Carolina, very important components of the nondurable manufacturing sector would be apparel, textiles, tobacco products. That sector has been having big-time problems.

"In fact a lot of those companies have moved overseas or moved production overseas.

"On the other hand we have a durable manufacturing sector -- for example, companies that make equipment and technological components. And in the last decade that sector has actually been growing and doing quite well.

"So really when you talk about manufacturing and whether it’s doing goodly or badly you have to ask what kind of manufacturing are you indeed talking about."

Posted by deeshore at May 17, 2006 08:00 AM