NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Multinationals Create American Jobs

April 28, 2004

Rather than abandoning the United States for locations with lower wages or lower taxes, American multinationals -- those with operations here and abroad -- are almost as rooted in the United States now as a quarter-century ago.

According to Commerce Department data:

  • In 2002, 73.1 percent of the global employment of American multinationals was in the United States, down slightly from 77.9 percent in 1977.
  • In 2002 the capital spending of these companies was concentrated in the United States -- 75 percent of the $467 billion they spent on factories, offices and equipment was in the United States, compared with 79.8 percent in 1977 (the peak year was 1985, at 83.5 percent).
  • U.S. multinationals increased their U.S. production for global markets from 75.3 percent in 1977 to 77 percent in 2001.
  • From 1992 to 2002, U.S. multinationals added about five American jobs for every three foreign jobs.

Expansion abroad may also create U.S. jobs, concludes economist Matthew Slaughter of Dartmouth University in a study for the Coalition for Fair International Taxation, a group of multinational firms. He says that growing foreign activity may require more U.S. scientists and engineers, financial specialists and managers.

Source: Robert J. Samuelson, "Keeping U.S. Jobs at Home," Washington Post, April 28, 2004.


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