Manufacturing employment in the state of Michigan has attained its highest level in 10 years, according to just-released figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There were 611,300 Michigan workers employed in the manufacturing sector in August, the most for any month since June 2007, when 612,300 were involved in making things here.

The figures include everyone from workers at a Battle Creek cereal packaging plant to those making auto parts at a Flint plant. The rebound is still short of Michigan manufacturing’s 21st-century high-water mark, which was 901,000 people in June 2000.

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There aren’t many policies that get near unanimous support from economists, but free trade is one of them. Despite this, a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign, heard from both political parties, was that free trade was somehow harmful to the United States and corrective action was needed. Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, makes the case for why President Trump’s assessment of free trade is misguided.

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