- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 11, 2004

U.S. job growth practically ceased in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) payroll job survey released Aug. 6. The U.S. economy was able to eke out only 32,000 new jobs — more than 200,000 fewer jobs than expected and terrible news for June graduates and the millions of unemployed.

More bad news came from downward revisions in the two prior months’ job gains.

As has been the case throughout this “recovery,” job growth in July was concentrated in nontradable domestic services, with the largest components being “ambulatory health care services” and “employment services.” Gains in these sectors were offset by losses in financial services, retail trade and transportation equipment manufacture.

Since the recovery began 32 months ago in November 2001, globalism has worked to move U.S. labor away from high value-added jobs in tradable goods and services, reallocating American workers into domestic services.

The BLS report, Occupational Outlook Quarterly (updated June 29), forecasts a continued reorientation of the U.S. work force toward domestic services. The list of “High-paying Occupations With Many Openings, Projected 2002-2012” (available online), names 20 “high-paying” occupations where the BLS expects the U.S. economy to create jobs ranging in annual pay from $29,370 (general maintenance and repair workers) to $68,210 (general and operations managers).

The list includes registered and practical nurses, schoolteachers, managers, sales representatives, truck drivers, executive secretaries, accountants and auditors, electricians, carpenters, mechanics, police officers, management analysts and computer system analysts. Only the last occupation has any relation to a high-tech economy, and there is no guarantee the computer jobs will not be outsourced or filled by foreigners working on H1-B or L-1 visas.

The BLS Career Guide to Manufacturing 2002-2012 projects a continuing wipeout of U.S. manufacturing employment. Over the decade, employment is expected to decline 18 percent in aerospace manufacturing, by 12 percent in computer and electronic products, by 17 percent in chemical manufacturing, by 20 percent in the steel industry, by 31 percent in textile mills and products, and by 69 percent in apparel manufacturing.

We continually hear “America doesn’t graduate enough engineers.” However, where is the need for increased enrollments in aerospace, computer, electrical, chemical and textile engineering when the industries that employ engineers are shrinking rapidly?

Among U.S. manufacturing industries, the BLS expects employment growth only in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing (23 percent by 2012) and printing and support activities (3.3 percent by 2012).

The BLS employment projections for the automobile industry are poor, with employment in motor vehicle manufacturing expected to decline. Slight employment growth is projected in vehicle parts (3 percent over the decade).

Despite the overwhelming empirical evidence, economists and other spokespersons for global interests continue to maintain globalism benefits the U.S. work force. Arithmetic-challenged economists explain away vanishing manufacturing employment in terms of productivity increases that allow more output from fewer workers.

If this is true, why is America’s trade deficit in manufacturing goods rising, including advanced technology products? The United States, allegedly a superpower, now depends on advanced technology products from China, allegedly a Third World country.

Those giving assurances America benefits from globalism miss the big picture. Globalism is reshaping the U.S. labor force, giving the work force a Third World profile. Thirty-two months of economic recovery has seen job growth only in domestic services, many of them poorly paid. Overall, the economy has lost 1.8 million jobs since President Bush’s Inauguration.

Economists are absurd to pretend the absence of U.S. job growth in tradable goods and services is unrelated to offshore production and outsourcing.

If the U.S. economy can no longer generate jobs in tradable goods and services, we will find out whether Americans can survive by taking in one another’s laundry — and if Americans can pay for imports with domestic nontradable services.

Paul Craig Roberts is a columnist for The Washington Times and is nationally syndicated.

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