Date of Conferral







Jeffrey Prinster


Fabricated metals' manufacturing sector employment in the United States declined following the onset of the 2008 recession. Premium compensation and benefits afforded to employees within the manufacturing sector amplified the negative effects of recessionary job losses. Using the regional macroeconomic complex adaptive systems (CAS) framework, the purpose of this study was to examine the geographic distribution of job losses, recovery rates, and adaptive behavior after the recession for the fabricated metals manufacturing sector by measuring and comparing effects in 50 East North Central division MSAs and 50 South Atlantic division MSAs in the United States. Independent sample t tests compared average job level change rates for the tested regions. Significant differences in mean job loss rates for the two divisions occurred between 2008 and 2010 and in mean job recovery rates between 2010 and 2012. A multiple regression model analyzed the relationship of the dependent variable post-recession employment level changes with the independent variables defined as workforce demographic changes and establishment level changes as indicators of adaptive behavior. Results revealed a significant relationship between the dependent variable and shifts in the workforce demographic profile but did not reveal a significant relationship between the dependent variable and changes in the number of firms engaged in this sector. This study forms the genesis of background data for measuring cross-regional performance in the presence of external shocks and serves as a foundation for developing incentive models based on thriving sectors and regions for individuals, organizational groups, and society as a whole in engendering economic growth and well-being.