This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

July 9, 2003

Corporate Migration Reversing

Americans have been fretting for a decade about jobs going to other countries. Employers have made decisions based on production costs, recognizing that labor in other places has the necessary skills---or can be trained---and will work for much lower wages. With the differences in standards of living, workers in other countries can be paid much less and still enjoy a very nice living in their environment of choice.

For years, the United States has seen the erosion of manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing employment has dropped every month for 31 consecutive months as those once-coveted jobs have moved to other countries. Beneficiaries---of manufacturing and service payrolls--- include Mexico, Japan, India, Brazil, China, Singapore, and many other places. As industries find ways to recruit, employ, and train people in third world countries, expect more movement. Employment opportunities will come to people who have never known steady work experiences. The standard of living for these citizens will improve, and their community cultures will be changed forever.

As products are designed in one or more countries, manufactured in other countries, assembled in others, and sold throughout the world, job migration will become even more global. Companies will employ multi-lingual managers who will coordinate activities in several countries simutaneously, managing an international work flow.

As part of this trend, eventually manufacturing jobs will return to the United States. Employers in America and other countries are recognizing the higher cost-benefit of utilizing workers who have training, experience, and the desired work ethic. Even though they're more expensive, they're also more productive. Some jobs that went to Mexico have returned.

What's even more interesting is that more jobs are being created in the United States by companies based in other countries. We have seen this trend for years, with the manufacture of Volkswagen, Honda, BMW, and other foreign brand automobiles in the United States. Now new companies are entering the American market, in search of labor and proximity to customers. A Chinese manufacturer is building a plant in Tennessee, for example.

New manufacturing designs are being built in Brazil. Global shifting is on the move.

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