Paul Lachine

L'impératif du secteur manufacturier

CAMBRIDGE – Nous avons beau vivre dans une ère postindustrielle, dans laquelle les technologies de l'information, la biotechnologie et les services à haute valeur ajoutée sont devenus des moteurs de la croissance économique, la réalité demeure : les pays qui négligent leur secteur manufacturier le font à leur risque.

Le secteur des services de haute technologie exige des compétences pointues et crée peu d'emplois, aussi sa contribution à l'emploi est forcément limitée. Par contre, le secteur manufacturier est en mesure d'absorber de grandes quantités de travailleurs de compétence moyenne, leur procurant des emplois stables et une rémunération intéressante. Les activités manufacturières sont donc, pour bien des pays, une puissante source d'emplois bien payés.

En fait, c'est aussi grâce à l'industrie que s'établissent et prospèrent les classes moyennes du monde entier. Sans base manufacturière dynamique, les sociétés ont tendance à se scinder en deux classes – des riches des pauvres, ceux qui accèdent à des postes stables et bien rémunérés et les autres qui jouissent de moins de sécurité d'emploi et dont les conditions de vie sont plus précaires. La présence d'une industrie manufacturière pourrait bien être en dernier ressort une condition fondamentale de la vigueur démocratique d'un pays.

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