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From the "Rust Belt" to the "Sun Belt"
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AP/Wide World Photos [2032261]

Gary Tramontina

Plant Closings

The demise of the manufacturing sector in the so-called Rust Belt has fed part of the return south. Since the 1960s, thousands of plants have closed in the United States, putting millions out of work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that from 1981 to 1986 - among the peak years of plant closings - some 5.1 million workers were "displaced" because of closings or "downsizing." Since 2000 alone, more than 4,500 American plants have closed, according to the Labor Department. Shown here are the buildings at the LTV Steel Corporation coke plant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In July 1997 the company announced its plans to close the plant by the end of the year, leaving 750 people without jobs.

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