The problem on unemployment has been a long standing issue since time in memorial. Each country, whether they may be developed or developing country, has their own rate of unemployment, and they gradually increase each year. While experts and critics believe that the problem itself is unavoidable due to the rapid growth rate and available jobs in the market, many believe that the problem of unemployment has been caused primarily by politicians and their failure to understand the issue’s importance to the public. In the case of the United States, the issue of unemployment poses a challenging threat to the possible credibility and victory of several candidates up for the incoming elections. Even though the country is considered a superpower by many states, it is also affected by the increasing rate of unemployment throughout the country. However, how could the US, a supposed economic powerhouse, let unemployment increase whilst it can provide jobs for all its citizens? The problem does not only lie with the economic recession happening in the country, the problem lies also to their opinions over foreign investors entering the country and the political situation that would determine the administration’s position in the issue.
With the elections coming up in November, the general public is in a divide as to which candidate to choose to consider their policies and proposals to end the age old problem in unemployment. According to recent reports from the US Labor Department, the federal government has managed to create 163,000 payroll jobs since July and with only a gradual increase in the unemployment rate from 8.2% to 8.3%. The report indicated that the conditions in the labor market in the country have slightly changed throughout the month of the report. Nonetheless, the report’s contents give citizens some sense of relief as the federal government is slowly working on its promise to fix the issue on unemployment. Notably with the Republican-Democrat debates over various issues happening in the country such as the economic recession, the healthcare act and other domestic issues, it would have seemed that the government is not working on the issue. However, the increase in job creation and the slight change in the unemployment rate are not reasons to stop improving the situation as the rate is still high for a country such as the US. The country would not be able to sustain new investors and entrants to the job market due to the increasing population and re-employment of old workers. The United States would need to create 200,000 more jobs each year to at least make a big change to the unemployment rate .
Many would then ask as to why the numbers increased despite the additional jobs and investors in the country. According to Phil Izzo for the Wall Street Journal, he cites that the main reason for such increase is due to the fact that the numbers in which the reports of unemployment are based from come from two separate reports. The first number in which the numbers of additional jobs are noted only come from surveys done by businesses. The second number which determines the unemployment rate comes from small surveys from households. While these numbers sometimes match with one another, the second report portrays a darker side of the issue that the government has yet to resolve If this is the case, the next question to ask, does the US federal government give out accurate data? In the one hand, they have indeed released the data they have and would gladly show these results to the public to gain some popularity from the public even if they are not complete. This would also present that they have indeed spoken with potential companies to open up new jobs for the Americans. However, if you look at the numbers of the Labor Department report and what one sees in their communities, the data is highly inaccurate as it does not make sense with the current situation of the state. There is also the fact that only a few sectors have been published to be included in the unemployment/employment surveys, disregarding the small jobs such as agriculture and contractors. One can also question if the country has indeed dished out 195,000 jobs for the month of July. According to another article written by Phil Izzo, it is possible that the government has indeed dished out many jobs as many as 160,000-195,000 through the month. The Labor Department uses another method to ensure that they can assess the number of additional jobs while taking into consideration the small industries not included in the surveys. They would subtract the types of jobs not included in the survey, and then add the number of jobholders recorded. Even if the number is still positive, they do not explain as to the real scenario of the industries not included in the survey.
Several companies have tried to help out somehow in the problem of unemployment in the country. However, one can see that politicians have created doubts as to the entrance of many foreign companies to the US Job Market due to their so called hidden agenda in recruiting America’s finest. This doubt is mostly seen in the growing industry of outsourcing, which somehow, politicians believe, creates problems for American workers. Outsourcing is currently a rapidly growing enterprise with India slowly hiring in the US for talented information-technology experts and plausible call-centre agents. The US government has implemented stricter rules in terms of allowing or relocating Indian employees to outsourcing companies in the country. As a result, Indian companies such as Mindtree Ltd have slowly built up a job database to hire more Americans the four to five software-development centres to be built in the country in the next five years. The company even is pushing for a partnership with local universities to ensure graduates of immediate jobs in the technology centre. Infosys Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, two other Indian firms, also plan to hire 2,000 US employees throughout the year as part of their American venture. Bangladesh has also announced several plans to hire American employees following the Indian action. These recruitment drives are currently in high scrutiny due to the election drives as the US government and the candidates believe the Indians are stealing jobs allotted to their people. The outsourcing companies have denied allegations of brain drain as they continuously pursue the creation of new jobs in the country . In a personal note, the US government does need have a point in restricting Indian employees to enter the country as the Indian firms can just employ American employees to save money. However, considering the problem on the recession and the high spending cost of the country, it is undeniable that it would be cheaper if these companies would employ from their own home countries and base there rather than investing in the US. The US could have benefited from these companies as it would bring new revenue to ensure that the economy would continue to improve from its 2009 status. It would be more beneficial if the US government, alongside its Labor Department and several members of the legislative committees on labor, speak with these investors and create a dialogue in developing a plan to help them build their businesses in the country and employ American workers without many fees. Considering outsourcing’s popularity and job openings, America would be able to benefit immensely for its unemployed citizens.
The two high runners for the incoming November 2012 Presidential Elections, Mitt Romney (Republican) and Barack Obama (Democrat), both present strategies that they believe would reduce the number of unemployment. In lieu of job creation, President Obama has accused his rival Romney for shipping American jobs overseas while his company remains as the head of the equity firm Bain Capital. Outsourcing is also seen as an important issue as many Indian outsourcing companies are still using Indian-based employees to power their businesses in the US. Obama pushes for the “Bridge to Work” program which he had proposed in 2011 to let businesses try out workers before they are employed with pay. Obama believes that the scheme, designed after the Georgia Works program, to reduce hiring costs and makes it easier for the unemployed to go back to work. Republicans see the benefits of the Bridge to Work program; however, they did not want a program that would authorize unemployment benefits once it is added to the budget deficit . For Mitt Romney, he sees the July 2012 unemployment rate to be a failure in the part of the Obama administration as it is “unacceptably high”. He pushes for the end of this “kick in the gut” and promises the creation of 250,000 jobs each month should he be elected president. His major slogan in the issue is “Putting Jobs First” as he firmly believes that the country has already suffered from the recession and would need a new path to rise forth from the problem.
Considering that both wish well for the recovery of the country from the economic recession, the problem of unemployment would significantly affect their campaigns for the Presidency. Both candidates would have to reduce the unemployment rate of the country down to 6% or lower with the promised proposals they have debated once elected. Obama’s economic policies since start of his term in 2009 has already met mixed results and with the recent surveys of increased job creation and steady changes in unemployment rate, voters would look for any positive policies that they believe Obama can push through. His “Bridge to Work” program would be a crucial proposal that many long-term unemployed Americans would indeed hope for if he is re-elected considering it would provide them with hope of recovering from the economic recession. In the case of Romney, he would need to show voters that he can pull away from the traditional Republican-Democrat divide and speak to various businesses to open up to the country for job creation. Considering Romney’s background in business as the chief of Bain Capital, his business skills would be detrimental in identifying the factors businesses would look for to open up new jobs in a country suffering from recession.
For a country such as the United States, resolving the problem of unemployment is not a complicated issue the federal government cannot address. The constant arguments and debates only lose them precious time in identifying the key factors as to why the problem exists and how it can be remedied. Take a look at the healthcare act. Both parties had argued for almost months before they can reach the consensus over the healthcare policy pushed by the Democrat government. One can indeed say both the Republicans and Democrats mean well for their advocacies to aid the country’s ailing employment sector and the rest of the country’s issues, but one can ask if this is truly enough to put an end to the issue. Unless there is consensus over the two warring camps in the legislative branch, the administration will not be able to push forth policies that can stop unemployment. The next president of the country must be able to consolidate ideas from both Republic and Democrat side to create a steady solution that not only would satisfy both parties, but also present results in the problem of job creation without fear.
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Izzo, Paul. "Number of the Week: Did U.S Actually Shed 195,000 Jobs in July?" The Wall Street Journal, 4 August 2012. Web. 6 August 2012
—. "Why Did Unemployment Rate Increase?" The Wall Street Journal, 3 August 2012. Web. 7 August 2012
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Thoppil, Dhanya Ann. "Indian Outsourcing Firms Hire in US." The Wall Street Journal, 7 August 2012. Web. 8 August 2012