In 2000, they found, Chinese factory workers earned a mere 3% of their U.S. counterparts’ wages. But by 2015, workers in China’s main high-tech manufacturing region will be earning around 25% of what U.S. workers earn in low-cost states. Take much higher U.S. worker productivity into account, and Chinese labor costs are 60% or more of U.S. costs, BCG calculates.
The industries closest to the “tipping point” for moving back to the U.S. include rubber and plastic goods, industrial machinery, and electrical equipment. The chemical industry isn’t considered close to returning mostly because, Lanxess aside, it didn’t move offshore to an appreciable extent. (emphasis CJ's)
Still, reshoring is likely to benefit the U.S. chemical industry. Although BCG has yet to dig into the secondary effects of reshoring, Zinser tells C&EN that the return of chemical-consuming companies to U.S. shores should work to the industry’s benefit. “For the same reasons that we are seeing the tipping point, someday these companies may be looking for the cost advantage of suppliers that are close to home,” he says.I'm kind of stunned at the statement about chemical manufacturing not moving offshore. Something happened to lose 200,000 jobs over the last ten years (2000-2010) in chemical manufacturing; of course, productivity gains could be a part of the job loss. Maybe there's an angle to the story that I don't really understand. (I probably need to understand what BCG means by 'moving offshore'.)