December did not bring Americans any jobs. To
the contrary, the private sector lost 13,000 jobs from the previous month.
If December is a
harbinger of the new year, it is going to be a bad one. The past year, hailed
by Republican propagandists and "free trade" economists as proof of
globalism's benefit to Americans, was dismal. According to the Bureau of Labor
Statistics' nonfarm payroll data, the US "super economy" created a
miserable 1,054,000 net new jobs during 2007.
This is not enough
to keep up with population growth -- even at the rate discouraged Americans,
unable to find jobs, are dropping out of the work force -- thus the rise in the
unemployment rate to 5 percent.
During the past
year, US goods producing industries, continuing a long trend, lost 374,000
But making things
was the "old economy." The "new economy" provides services.
Last year 1,428,000 private sector service jobs were created.
Are the "free
trade" propagandists correct that these service jobs, which are our
future, are high-end jobs in research and development, innovation, venture
capitalism, information technology, high finance, and science and engineering
where the US allegedly has such a shortage of scientists and engineers that it
must import them from abroad on work visas?
Not according to the
official job statistics.
provided the 1.4 million service jobs in 2007?
bartenders accounted for 304,200, or 21 percent of the new service jobs last
year and 29 percent of the net new jobs.
Health care and
social assistance accounted for 478,400, or 33 percent of the new service jobs
and 45 percent of the net new jobs. Ambulatory health care and hospitals
accounted for the lion's share of these jobs.
business services accounted for 314,000, or 22 percent of the new service jobs
and 30 percent of the net new jobs. Are these professional and business service
jobs the high-end jobs of which "free traders" speak? Decide for
yourself. Services to buildings and dwellings account for 53,600 of the jobs.
Accounting and bookkeeping services account for 60,500 of the jobs.
Architectural and engineering services account for 54,700 of the jobs. Computer
systems design and related services account for 70,400 of the jobs. Management
consultants account for 88,400 of the jobs.
There were more jobs
for hospital orderlies than for architects and engineers. Waitresses and
bartenders accounted for as many of last year's new jobs as the entirety of
professional and business services.
Wholesale and retail
trade, transportation, and utilities accounted for 181,000 of 2007's new jobs.
Where are the rest
of the new jobs? There are a few scattered among arts, entertainment, and
recreation, repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, and
membership associations and organizations.
Keep in mind that
the loss of 374,000 goods producing jobs must be subtracted from the 1,428,000
new service jobs to arrive at the net job gain figure. The new service jobs
account for more than 100 percent of the net new jobs.
Keep in mind, too,
that many of the new jobs are not filled by American citizens. Many of the
engineering and science jobs were filled by foreigners brought in on work
visas. Indians and others from abroad can be hired to work in the US for
one-third less. The engineering and science jobs that are offshored are paid as
little as one-fifth of the US salary. Even foreign nurses are brought in on
work visas. No one knows how many of the hospital orderlies are illegals.
What a super new
economy Americans have! US job growth has a distinctly Third World flavor. A
very small percentage of 2007's new jobs required a college education. Since
there are so few jobs for university graduates, how is "education the
Where is the benefit
to Americans of offshoring? The answer is that the benefit is confined to a few
highly paid executives who receive multi-million dollar bonuses for increasing
profits by offshoring jobs. The rest of the big money went to Wall Street
crooks who sold trusting people subprime derivatives.
traders" will assert that the benefit is in low Wal-Mart prices. But the
prices are low only because China keeps its currency pegged to the dollar.
Thus, the Chinese currency value falls with the dollar. The peg will not
continue forever. The dollar has lost 60 percent of its value against the Euro
during the years of the Bush regime. Already China is having to adjust the peg.
When the peg goes, Wal-Mart shoppers will think they are in Neiman Marcus.
Just as Americans
have been betrayed by "their" leaders in government at all levels,
they have been betrayed by business "leaders" on Wall Street and in
the corporations. US government and business elites have proven themselves to
be Americans' worst enemies.
Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the
Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side
Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation
and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown:
Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the
co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The
Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the
Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter
Brimelow�s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of