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From Senator Bob Casey, Jr.:

As chairman of the Joint Economic Committee during the 112th Congress, I have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and with private sector leaders to spur additional job creation, strengthen the manufacturing sector, improve competitiveness and boost our recovery. My role at the JEC has offered me a unique insight into the opportunities and challenges ahead as the United States continues to recover from its Great Recession.

There is no doubt we face significant challenges. The U.S. share of global manufacturing dipped dramatically from 26.6 percent in 2000 to 18 percent in 2011. During the same period, China’s share went up from 6.6 percent to 19.9 percent. While there have been some recent improvements, those numbers are troubling. My home state of Pennsylvania has been particularly hard-hit.

While unemployment is still too high, the economy is in better shape than it was three and a half years ago. When the Commerce Department releases second-quarter GDP numbers later this month, they will show the 12th consecutive quarter of growth. Private-sector employment has increased for 28 straight months and manufacturing has added 500,000 jobs over the same period.

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