Economist: Midwest on cusp of supply chain disruptions to manufacturing

MUNCIE, Ind. – Blame it on COVID-19 – a disease caused by the new coronavirus – but many areas in the United States heavily tied to manufacturing could suffer in the coming weeks due to supply chain disruptions to production, said economist Michael Hicks, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University.

In his 2017 study, “How Vulnerable Are American Communities to Automation, Trade, & Urbanization?” Hicks profiled specific communities that are dependent on manufacturing jobs.

The study pointed out that the manufacturing-heavy Midwest may be the first to feel supply chain disruptions.

“The actual disease may be longer term effects on the labor supply and organization of production, which harder to estimate,” Hicks said. “In the short term, the factory stoppages may affect producers in the next few weeks.”