Not all outsourced jobs to come back to the US: Obama

Not all outsourced jobs to come back to the US: Obama
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First Published: Fri, Mar 27 2009. 01 31 PM IST
Updated: Fri, Mar 27 2009. 01 31 PM IST
Washington: US President Barack Obama has hinted that he is not going to insist on bringing back the low-wage, low-skilled jobs outsourced to countries like India and China but would work on creating high-skilled, high-paying jobs, which cannot be off-shored.
The suggestion might come as a big relief to thousands of youths in countries like India, China and Philippines, where American companies have outsourced their work.
“It probably wouldn’t be good for our economy for a bunch of these jobs to come back because, there’s no way that people could be getting paid a living wage on some of these jobs — at least in order to be competitive in an international setting,” Obama said during the course of an online town hall meeting streamed live on the Internet from the White House.
Obama responded to online video questions in the first of its kind attempt to establish a direct line of communication with the masses.
“When can we expect jobs that have been outsourced to other countries to come back and be made available to the unemployed here in the US?” was a question posed to him.
“Not all of these jobs are going to come back... What we’ve got to do is create new jobs that can’t be outsourced,” Obama answered.
Obama explained: “A lot of outsourcing that was referred to in the question really has to do with the fact that our economy, if it’s dependent on low-wage, low-skilled labour, it’s very hard to hang on to those jobs because there’s always a country out there that pays lower wages than US”.
To create new high-skilled jobs, he said, energy is very promising. In this regard, he said an overhaul of the electricity grid can generate employment.
“We’ve been talking about what’s called a smart grid... Think about all the gizmos you are carrying... You’re plugging in all kinds of stuff in your house. We’ve got an entirely new set of technologies, huge demands in terms of energy, but we’ve got a grid that’s completely outdated,” he said.
Obama also asked Americans to have some patience as he works towards revival of economy and new jobs start appearing in the market. “We’re going to have to be patient and persistent about job creation because I don’t think that we’ve lost all the jobs we’re going to lose in this recession.
“We’re still going to be in a difficult time for much of this year. Employment is typically what’s called a lagging indicator,” he said.
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First Published: Fri, Mar 27 2009. 01 31 PM IST
More Topics: Obama | Outsourcing | India | China | Phillipines |