Job Loss Causes

Boomers International Board: Election - Politics: Job Loss Causes
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By YYDD on Thursday, October 7, 2004 - 04:35 pm:

Op/Ed - USATODAY.com
Yes, jobs are disappearing, but causes may surprise
Thu Oct 7, 8:09 AM ET Op/Ed - USATODAY.com

When John Kerry (news - web sites) talks about the economy, he invariably focuses on the anemic employment gains of the past two years. As anyone who has struggled to find work knows, jobs have been the key missing ingredient in an otherwise-healthy economic expansion.

Kerry's chief villain is the corporate "outsourcing" of American jobs to countries that pay lower wages. In Ohio on Sunday, he vowed to close $40 billion in tax loopholes that he says encourage companies to move jobs overseas. Tuesday night, John Edwards (news - web sites) hammered home the point again in his debate with Vice President Cheney: "They're for outsourcing jobs. We're against it."

The outsourcing offensive may appeal to disenchanted voters who have seen companies shut plants and move abroad. And it certainly plays on broader worker fears about layoffs in a fast-changing global economy.

But one thing it doesn't do is address the primary reasons why the job outlook these days is so uncertain.

Studies show that the migration of U.S. jobs overseas is a tiny factor in weak employment growth. A Labor Department (news - web sites) study of job losses in the first three months of the year found that only 2% went overseas. Other studies have put the figure closer to 1%.

In truth, several factors unrelated to outsourcing have kept total employment below where it was when Bush took office, something that hasn't happened during a president's term since the Great Depression.
They include:

Productivity gains. Technology lets companies do more with fewer people. In 2002 and 2003, output for each U.S. worker increased by more than 4% a year, the first time productivity was that high two years in a row, according to the Labor Department.

Health care costs. Federal Reserve (news - web sites) Board surveys show rising medical expenses - more than 10% annually for four years running - are dampening hiring as firms worry about paying for new employees' benefits.

Terror insecurity. While hard to quantify, fears of another major terror attack may be prompting companies to be conservative in hiring. A survey by the National Association for Business Economists rated terrorism as the biggest threat to the economy, above government debt and rising interest rates.

Some of these factors are beyond a president's control. And in the case of productivity gains, short-term bad news is good news over time; more productive workers are more competitive globally. Productivity is also the key to raising living standards.

The next president can have an impact, however, by focusing on proven ways to spur job growth. One is to boost U.S. exports. Both candidates have sound pro-trade records, but Kerry needs the courage to make the case that trade leads to more U.S. jobs, not fewer. And Bush can avoid popular but counterproductive protectionist moves, such as his imposing steel tariffs in 2002.

Another solution is to do more to restrain out-of-control health costs. Yet neither candidate has a plan that is comprehensive and goes beyond shifting costs from the private sector to government.

Free-trade critics cite studies that predict millions of jobs will be moved overseas in the next decade. But past dire warnings about the dangers of expanding trade have proved false. In the past 20 years, the economy has seen a net increase of 36 million jobs, as new companies crop up to replace others that have withered and died.

Decrying outsourcing attracts votes, but it diverts attention from the real problem of worrisome job growth - and the solutions. Today's debate: "Outsourcing" jobs Productivity, health costs, terror fears hurt more than foreign flight.

http://www.usatoday.com


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Friday, October 8, 2004 - 03:30 pm:

According to the Liberal Media sources...

Job growth lower than expected
Companies added 96,000 jobs to their payrolls in September, fewer than economists had forecast for the last employment report before Election Day, highlighting a modest pace of hiring that has become an issue in President Bush’s bid for re-election.

OFCOURSE WHAT HAPPENED LAST MONTH IN FLORIDA?
HOW MANY JOB LOSSES DUE TO THE 4 HURRICANES?

JACKA* medias


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