NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Media Coverage

June 27, 1996

Media watchers say the press is playing up the issue of "downsizing" by some U. S. corporations, while ignoring the tremendous growth in jobs taking place virtually everywhere else across the American business landscape.

The U. S. economy has created over ten million new jobs in the last four years. In the first quarter of this year alone, it created 660,000 new jobs. Unemployment has tumbled from 7.8 percent to 5.4 percent over the longer period.

Yet the downsizing angle is highlighted. Wal-Mart Stores, America's largest employer, added 41,000 U.S. positions last year -- roughly the same number AT&T is eliminating over three years -- as their payroll has grown from 270,000 to 630,000 since 1991. Yet the AT&T story received an estimated ten media attention accorded Wal-Mart's announcement (while usually covering public opposition to Wal-Mart, often led by higher-priced competitors).

As IBM and AT&T were laying people off, other telecommunications companies were hiring -- Motorola Inc. adding 5,000 last year, Intel Corp. creating 9,800 new jobs in 1995, Hewlett-Packard adding more than 7,000 jobs since 1991 and Dell Computer Corp. expanding by 1,100. Forbes magazine reports that employment rose by 240,000 in 1995 at 787 of the nation's top firms. And nearly 200 of the companies increased their payrolls by at least 1,000 last year.

Source: Adam Meyerson (Policy Review), Investor's Business Daily, June 27, 1996.


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