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Unemployment may still be high because companies aren’t hiring, but one sector is the exception: Firms specializing in high-tech manufacturing are begging for workers because skilled labor simply isn’t there. According to a recent New York Times article, factory owners have been steadily adding jobs since the beginning of the year and would love to hire more, but can’t fill many openings because there’s a mismatch between the kind of skilled workers they need and the applicants out there.

Part of the problem is that young people don’t see manufacturing as a career path. And why should they? U.S. manufacturing has been on the decline since the 1970s. But the ugly reality is that a robust economy can’t be built on service and retail alone. Our staggering trade deficit is evidence that America doesn’t make tangibles anymore — we just buyand sell stuff to each other, and most of that stuff is made in other countries.

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