Jobs Are Job One in the United States

As Americans fired up the barbecues all across the United States this past Monday in the country’s 117th celebration of  Labor Day, jobs were on everyone’s minds. On Friday, before workplaces closed for the long holiday weekend, the government announced that unemployment had reached 9.7 percent in August, the highest rate in twenty-six years. Vice President Joe Biden tried to put a positive twist on the news by saying that the stimulus package had “saved or created” 750,000 jobs, but no one gave his statement much credibility. Not only is the statistic he quoted impossible to quantify, but the fact is that 210,000 jobs were lost in the most recent month.

It’s no wonder then that the television and radio networks focused on the jobs situation in the United States in their Friday broadcasts. On a macro-level, experts discussed when the economy might turn around and when companies might begin hiring. At the micro-level, personal interviews related how individuals were dealing with the hardships created by the current economy.

Using the recent story in the New York Times as backdrop, Fox Business took the opportunity to discuss job opportunities in China. In his Friday afternoon show, I was interviewed by David Asman of Fox about China and the opportunities for Americans in the country.

In my interview with David, I discussed the China opportunity in general and how JFP Holdings is helping Western companies to bring their products and technologies to the country. I also described the types of individuals that we are looking for to build the company. The interview was in many ways a continuation of the discussion we have been having on MTD, and I thought our readers would be interesting in being able to listen to it in its entirety.

Apart from the human resources angle, the interview highlighted once again how skeptical many are about what is really happening in China. The general perception in the United States is that Chinese government statistics cannot be trusted and that the “books are cooked” as far as growth metrics. While no one with any experience here will take government figures completely at face value, there is no question that China’s economy is very much alive and growing. The “information gap” between China and the United States remains very wide.

2 Responses to “Jobs Are Job One in the United States”

  1. Hi again Jack,

    Way to hold the line there on the Asman interview…he came on like a dervish — journalists think that keeping you on your toes is good form — but you kept to point and I hat tip for that. If he had time constraints, then he should have planned out the interview better…

    In any event, I’ve crossposted to Facebook.

    I’d be willing to wager than if you had a dollar for every time people asked you about your Chinese language skills, you’d collect a nice bundle of stimulus cash to save any of the G8 countries from the credit crunch! Why does this seem to be such an obsessive stumbling point for certain individuals — especially the US mass media? Gosh…I’d bet that as part of a random survey of New and Old China Hands, the number of them choosing “…I get by…” as part of a list of multiple choice responses to: “How well do you speak Mandarin Chinese after 5 years in China?” would be enormously high…

    Changing gears a bit, I’ve got someone in mind you might be interested in considering as an interpreter/writer at JFP. She speaks and writes English, French, and Spanish fluently, in addition to a smattering of Greek, German, and is presently completing a Mandarin course. Who might like to know? Not to mention, she is very presentable, professional, and post-EU university. More details?


  2. Then I found this guest post, by Greg T. Spielberg…on mandatory Mandarin instruction in the US: Worth a read, for sure…