It’s easy to forget sometimes, but the United States and Canada aren’t the only places that have suffered from factory shutdowns and a loss of manufacturing jobs.
Some of the quotes in this story are striking in that they sound like they could easily be about workers or regions here in the U.S.:
“In its heyday in the 1980s. the city of Miskolc had more than 200,000 residents, most working in industry. The population has fallen to about 170,000 and unemployment stands at between 15 and 16 percent, well above the national average of 9.8 percent. DAM, which survived privatizations in the 1990s and was rescued after previous liquidations, is being wound up again and is laying off its approximately 700 remaining employees.”
“…More than half of those losing their jobs at the steel mill are aged over 50 and finding new work for them will be difficult, even though the city receives funds from an EU program partly designed to help crisis-hit regions, she says. ‘Those who worked at DAM for 30 to 40 years would have never left this plant. First they must overcome the trauma of all this, and it’s very hard,’ Dudas says.”
I wonder how other nations have responded to the problems caused by plant closings and mass layoffs of maufacturing workers — extended unemployment benefits? worker retraining? relocation assitance? Is there anything other countries are doing that we should be trying? Has anyone studied this?