Things are getting tougher at home. I run into a former neighbor who stated he was looking for work. He was a corporate manager for a Fortune 500 company. Sadly, the company had made some bad business decisions that left it with the decision of laying off staff. My neighbor was one of these causalities of downsizing.
He had been earning over $80K. He stated that he was getting many job offers because of his experience that were offering him about $40K. He could not understand his plight. I explained the employment research I had been doing over the years. It is a buyer’s market with companies being the buyers.
Therefore, my neighbor was part of the blue plate special for businesses. These companies were searching for highly qualified workers at the fraction of the cost while staying away from recent college grads or inexperienced prospects. Unfortunately, this is the reality of employment in a financial crisis.
Last week, the Labor Department reported job growth had slowed and thousands of Americans were giving up on their job search. Of course, these results received attentions on all political fronts in America because it is a presidential election year.
On the campaign trail, President Barack Obama explains how the economy is improving but slowly. His opposition, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, attacks the Obama administration for failed policies on the economy. Both presidential candidates set an interesting discussion on the role of the federal government in the economy. However, the most underpinning issue is who is best suited for job creation to 23 million unemployed Americans.
The global economy is struggling even in emerging markets like China. Why would America be different? According to the Labor Department, the economy added only 96,000 jobs in August, which was down from 141,000 jobs in July. Additionally, unemployment fell to 8.1%, from 8.3%. This is not a positive statistic. The unemployment rate fell largely because 368,000 people stopped looking for work.
In fact, 64% of the working–age population was either unemployed or actively seeking work which was a record 30 year high. According to some economists, at least 150,000 jobs are needed each month to simply keep pace with population growth.
Job creation is a difficult concept. According to the financial dictionary, job creation is a “process by which the number of jobs in an economy increases.” In this partisan political environment, job creation is a hot buzzword without much practical application.
Some people may argue that the government is a job creator. Yet, the federal government, being bureaucratic and having a host of mission-oriented functions, is not equipped to handle this responsibility alone.
Others folks taunt businesses as the ultimate job creators. However, businesses were never started to be job creators as its primary mission. Ricky Griffin and Michael Pustay, authors of International Business would argue that businesses were designed solely as job creators: “The fundamental reason for the existence of a business is to create value (usually in the form of profits) for its owners.”
Therefore, a multinational company’s business strategy may not be in tune with job creation in America. Outsourcing relates to pulling various tasks from within an organization and getting this particular service outside of the organization. Outsourcing continues to be a major tool for businesses.
Thomas Friedman, author of The World is Flat, makes a distinction between outsourcing and offshoring: “Offshoring, by contrast, is when a company takes one of its factories that is operating in Canton, Ohio, and moves the whole factory offshore to Canton, China.
Therefore, it produces the same product in the very same way, only with cheaper labor, lower taxes, and subsidized energy, and lower health-care costs.” Countries search the globe for cheaper labor without considering the long-term perspective of their business strategies. I think you need to give the definition of outsourcing here to complete the comparison.
Consequently, shipping more jobs abroad has a rippling impact across the globe. Globalization creates a more equitable average wage across the world while reducing the earning power of developing countries and increasing the living wages for emerging countries.
According to the United Nations’ Millennium Development Report, more than1 billion people on the globe live on less than $1 a day. Ironically, as most Americans have watched their wages decrease, most other workers across the globe sees a significant increase.
The world’s middle income class earns between $700 to $7,500 per family member. Therefore, job creation has a different meaning on a global level because it produces a variety of winners and losers. Consequently, Americans must understand that the jobs that are created may not be fully realized in their own country.
How do you define job creation in a global environment? What team arrangement (if any) can U.S. government and U.S. businesses create to help the 23 million unemployed in our nation?
© 2012 by Daryl D. Green