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Thursday, July 01, 2010

"The Global Jobs Competition Heats Up"

The canaries are squawking:

The Global Jobs Competition Heats Up, by Martin Bailey, Matthew Slaughter, and Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Commentary, WSJ: For generations, coal miners gauged the health of their workplace with a critical indicator: canaries. ... Today, another leading indicator—multinational companies headquartered in the U.S.—is signaling widespread and legitimate concerns about the health of the U.S. economy. ...
U.S. multinational companies have long been among America's strongest firms..., they account for about 19% of all private jobs, 25% of all private wages... They are responsible for 41% of the increase in private labor productivity since 1990.
Despite the common allegation that multinationals simply "export jobs" out of the U.S., research shows that expansion abroad by these firms has tended to complement—not substitute for—their U.S. operations. More investment and employment abroad have tended to create more American investment and jobs as well. ...
But there is no guarantee that the past will be prologue. McKinsey conducted in-depth interviews with senior executives from 26 of America's largest ... multinationals. Their message is sobering: Today the U.S. is in an era of global competition to attract, retain and grow the operations of multinational companies that it's never faced before. ...
All of the business leaders interviewed ... agreed that U.S. tax policy has a "major impact" on their competitiveness and investment decisions, and most said that policies like limits on skilled immigration handicap their companies. ...
It is our strong belief that their concerns must be taken seriously by U.S. policy makers at all levels. We aren't saying that America's economic policy should be driven by the considerations of U.S. multinational firms alone—far from it. But when millions of American workers are facing severe hardship, driving our strongest companies with the best-paying jobs overseas certainly won't help. ... The ... U.S. cannot rest on past success and take its multinationals for granted. Policy makers must partner with business leaders to craft policies aimed at sustaining an environment in which U.S. multinationals can thrive. ...
These firms are now the canaries in the U.S. economic coal mine. Will our lawmakers pay attention?

    Posted by on Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 12:42 AM in Economics | Permalink  Comments (176)


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