The Jobless Recovery

Is the jobless recovery due to offshore outsourcing, or cautious corporations?

Q: Where are the jobs? At this point in the economic recovery, shouldn't we be seeing more being created?
A: I would say that there's still "cautious optimism" out there. To me, what I think that means is that there's optimism about revenue growth — and caution about spending [those revenues].

Q: But what about all the outsourcing of jobs? Isn't that part of the explanation, too?
A: Yes, this is happening at a time when the outsourcing thing is getting a lot of attention — quite legitimately. But the issue is far more complex than the conclusion being drawn. If there were no offshoring taking place, we would still not have the big jobs recovery. We've all as a country suffered the consequence of spending that wasn't supported by sustained growth. People aren't going to forget that overnight, at the first sign of recovery.

Q: But certainly every job that goes overseas is a job an American doesn't get.
A: Of course. I'm not saying there wouldn't be more job growth. But if you removed offshoring altogether, there would still be a lag between economic growth and job growth. People are attributing all of [the concern about the lack of new jobs] to offshoring, when much of it's due to an understandable caution by corporations.

Interesting. I'm not sure he's right, though. My own personal thought is that the "jobs" numbers aren't measured that accurately.