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News : Innovation Last Updated: Jan 19, 2012 - 7:43 AM


US multinationals' R&D hiring jumps in Asia; US lost more than quarter of high tech manufacturing jobs since 2000
By Finfacts Team
Jan 18, 2012 - 8:10 AM

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General Electric dates from 1892 when Edison Electric, founded by Charles Edison (the famed inventor pictured in tableau) merged with a rival.

US multinational companies have focused almost all their new hiring of researchers in Asia in recent years and the region is poised to overtake the United Sates in terms of the allocation of resources to R&D (research and development). Meanwhile, the US has lost more that a quarter of high tech manufacturing jobs since 2000 - -  in sectors such as computers, communications, medical equipment, aerospace, pharmaceuticals and measuring devices.

In 2010, Andy Grove, the former Intel chief, commented on the impact on job creation of having high tech manufacturing offshored: "Startups are a wonderful thing, but they cannot by themselves increase tech employment. Equally important is what comes after that mythical moment of creation in the garage, as technology goes from prototype to mass production. This is the phase where companies scale up.

They work out design details, figure out how to make things affordably, build factories, and hire people by the thousands. Scaling is hard work but necessary to make innovation matter. The scaling process is no longer happening in the US. And as long as that's the case, plowing capital into young companies that build their factories elsewhere will continue to yield a bad return in terms of American jobs."

A large portion of engineering students in the US are foreigners; 57% of US doctoral degrees in engineering in 2009 went to foreigners, mostly from East Asia or India.

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