Who woulda thunk it?

Oil Price Fallout: Jobs Coming Home?

“Cheap labor in China doesn’t help you when you gotta pay so much to bring the goods over,” says economist Jeff Rubin.

Some local manufacturers have suddenly found themselves in the thick of boom times.

“In December, we had three employees here. We were just getting set up. Now it’s 14,” says Casey Hearn, who owns a furniture manufacturing business in North Carolina.

Other sectors of U.S. manufacturing may see a boost in jobs as well. Rubin says the U.S. steel industry is poised to reap benefits.

“It’s not just about labor costs anymore,” says Rubin. “Distance costs money, and when you have to shift iron ore from Brazil to China and then ship it back to Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh is looking pretty good at 40 bucks an hour.”

Well, pretty much anyone who had any sense.

Want to know the real kicker here? Shipping bits is cheap, so it could be that soon white-collar jobs are the only ones it makes sense to outsource. Until the dollar falls a little more, that is.

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