Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Chart to Open Our Eyes - Staggering Change in U.S. Multinational Hiring Practices Domestically In the 00s Versus the 90s

Many ask where all the 'job creation' that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts were supposed to bring, went.  If you believe the claims that these tax cuts directly create jobs (which many would call a spurious theory as demand for product generally is the main job creator) then, based on data from the Commerce Department, the answer is "just about everywhere but the U.S.".  This chart on how U.S. multinationals acted domestically in terms of job creation in the 90s versus the 00s is simply staggering.  And I'd argue showcases how little tax policy changes the direction of decision making, as opposed to secular growth/demand dynamics.

What surprised me here is the relatively static jobs created 'abroad' over the decade of the 00s.
Please note, the numbers below seem to be an update from this story in May, where the data was even worse.

Keep in mind the number of long term unemployed in the country (those unemployed for more than half a year) currently stands at 5.9M.  If our multinationals exhibited no growth of job creation in the 00s versus the 90s, and simply were static in their actions decade over decade, there would have been roughly a +5.3M variance in job creation.  You can do the math when you ask why we have a jobs issue in this country.  Of course these are the same entities that dominate the political process and lobby for the loopholes and favorable tax treatments.... oh yes, and are now people too, per the Supreme Court.

(as an aside, I don't 'blame' our multinationals for this behavior - in an era of globalization, this is what happens.  Many in our power elite class just don't want to admit it - instead it's environmental regulation or 'confidence' that is to blame.  If corporations are only here to maximize profit - they are doing what they are created for.  I just blame them for contributing to the orthodoxy and ideology that dominates the political landscape - while buying off the political class.)

Via WSJ:
  • U.S.-based multinational corporations added 1.5 million workers to their payrolls in Asia and the Pacific region during the 2000s, and 477,500 workers in Latin America, while cutting payrolls at home by 864,000, the Commerce Department reported.
  • The faster growth abroad was concentrated in emerging markets, such as China, Brazil, India and Eastern Europe, according to economists Kevin Barefoot and Raymond Mataloni, of the U.S. Commerce Department.
  • The data show the dramatic changes in the nature of globalization during the past decade, when U.S.-based multinationals concentrated their growth opportunities abroad. And it is likely to become fodder in the political debate over U.S. and foreign corporate tax codes and policies aimed at encouraging companies to produce more jobs at home.
  • (this is increasingly dangerous to America's prospects of the future as well, and little discussed - when you move manufacturing, you eventually more your R&D capability next to it)  The newly released data also show that while American companies still do the bulk of their capital investment and research-and-development spending inside the U.S., an increasing share is being done abroad.  The multinational companies, for instance, reduced capital-investment spending in the U.S. at an annual rate of 0.2% in the 2000s and increased it at a 4.0% annual rate abroad. Still, they allocated $2.40 in capital spending in the U.S. for every $1 spent abroad.
  • Among companies in industries outside of finance, 57% of overseas hiring between 1999 and 2009 took place in Asia. The firms added 683,000 workers in China, a 172% increase over the decade, and 392,000 workers in India, a 542% increase. Another 18% of the overseas hiring occurred in Latin America.
  • Overseas, U.S.-based corporations still employ more people in Europe than in any other part of the world. Most of the hiring during the 2000s took place in lower-wage countries in Eastern Europe. The companies cut 14,700 workers in Germany during the decade and added only 8,700 in France, while increasing their payrolls in Poland by 135,500 and in Hungary by 53,700.
  • The U.S.-based multinational companies employed 23.1 million workers in the U.S. in 2009 and 10.8 million in majority-owned affiliates in other countries, a total that doesn't reflect millions more employees at unaffiliated overseas companies from which U.S. companies make large purchases.
  • Between 1989 and 1999, U.S. -based multinationals, both financial and nonfinancial, added 4.4 million workers in the U.S. and 2.7 million workers overseas.
  • In the 2000s, as the government reported in April, the firms cut their work forces in the U.S. as they expanded them abroad. The latest data show that the firms cut 864,600 workers in the U.S. between 1999 and 2009 and added 2.9 million workers abroad.
  • The update for 2009 turned up multinational firms with large U.S. work forces that weren't included in the preliminary data released in April. The earlier data showed that U.S. multinationals had cut 2.9 million workers in the U.S. in the 2000s and added 2.4 million abroad.
  • Much of the overseas investment and hiring by U.S. multinationals has been in the service sector and other industries outside manufacturing. Among U.S. multinational firms in manufacturing, about 60% of employment is still in the U.S. But the manufacturers cut their U.S. payrolls by 2.1 million in the 2000s and added 230,000 workers overseas.
  • In all, U.S. multinational manufacturers employed 6.9 million workers in the U.S. in 2009 and 4.6 million abroad.

And a video discussion on the topic

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