Made in America: Buying local gifts this holiday season

(WTVM) - During the holiday season, the last thing a shopper thinks about is where their gifts are made.

But while the country is still trying to bounce back from a wallet crunching recession and a lack of jobs, where the products we buy are made is something American economists say we should consider.

That's why World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer set out to challenge Americans to buy products made in the good ole USA.

The same challenge we brought to the attention of some local shoppers.

Where products are made is something the majority of shoppers don't give much thought to, but when they become aware that by buying products made in America, thousands of jobs can be created and saved.

"I'm all about saving jobs," said Khalefah Whitlock. "People need jobs. I'm all about the economy and stuff like that."

Economists predict that Americans will spend $700 each on holiday gifts this year.

While the amount people spend during the holidays remains steady, their choices of buying American has declined.

Back in the 1960's, 9 out of every 10 holiday gifts we bought were made in America. Today more than half of what we buy for the holidays is foreign-made.

To be more specific, Americans spent $2.-5 billion on toys made in China last Christmas.

One economist who spoke with World News Tonight says that amount was just spent on toys.

"That means we must be spending 10 billion dollars or more during the Christmas season on Chinese made goods that are as gifts."

"You never think about it with the economy and everything going on, the price of gas, food and everything that you can be making that difference, by just one product," said Kim Jackson. "I will definitely make an effort to shop for made in America products."

So remember the next time you shop by buying at home, jobs can be saved at home.

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