[biztech-discussion] Re: America's Job-Quality Trap

  • From: Al Weinrub <Allen.Weinrub@xxxxxxx>
  • To: biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2004 14:38:58 -0700


Regarding the trend cited in the Morgan Stanly website article referred 
to by Samantha Clark, below, you might want to check out the two-page 
analysis, White-Collar Meltdown, by the AFL-CIO Department of 
Professional Employees (DPE), at the following location:


The analysis looks at Bureau of Labor Statistics and cites a number of 
other sources. Here is a teaser:

"The changing job projections show that outsourcing has reduced the 
nation's ability to create high-skill, well-compensated jobs that are 
the backbone of our middle class. Government and business economists 
promised that high tech and knowledge jobs would replace the 
manufacturing jobs that were offshored--but now they are being exported, 
too. This is dramatically changing the nature of employment in our 
country," said Almeida. "The figures are hard to deny."

It also says that"the Economic Policy Institute recently reported that 
the unemployment level of college graduates now surpasses that of high 
school dropouts."

Anyway, this undermines the false argument that outsourcing provides for 
an expansion of the most highly skilled sectors.



Samantha Clark wrote:

>      Consequently, from these three different vantage points ? employment
>breakdowns by industry, occupation, and degree of attachment ? the same
>basic picture emerges.  Yes, there has been a pick-up in the pace of US job
>creation over the past four months.  But the bulk of the impetus ? albeit an
>unusually anemic one by cyclical standards of the past ? has been
>concentrated at the low end of the quality spectrum.  The Great American job
>machine is not even close to generating the high-powered jobs that typically
>provide the major impetus to income generation and personal consumption.
>      We hear repeatedly that the disconnect is all about lags or
>productivity.  I don?t buy it.  Instead, I believe that a new force has come
>into play that is now altering the fundamental relationship between domestic
>demand and domestic employment in the United States.  I call it the global
>labor arbitrage ? the IT-enabled efficiency tactics that allow US companies
>to substitute high-wage domestic workers with like-quality low-wage foreign
>workers in goods producing and services-providing functions, alike.  The
>lack of pricing leverage in today?s climate makes this arbitrage an
>increasingly urgent competitive imperative.  In my view, the global labor
>arbitrage is likely to be an enduring feature of the macro climate ? raising
>the distinct possibility that subpar job creation in the US could well be
>here to stay for the foreseeable future.


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