How Many U.S. Jobs Has China Created? Rhodium Offers an Estimate
With China playing a front-and-center role in the U.S. presidential election, Rhodium Group, a New York consultingfirm, recently added a new twist.
According to its estimates, Chinese-owned firms in the U.S. nowaccount for about 27,000 U.S. jobs -- a number that is boundto increase so long as the U.S. encourages such investment.
Thilo Hanemann, a Rhodium analyst, said his firm counted the jobs created by 600 Chineseinvestments since 2000, including acquisitions of existing firms and creation of new ones. 'For a fewfirms we had to use estimates based on known employment at firms of similar size and industry,' hesaid. Five years ago, Chinese-owned firms in the U.S. employed fewer than 10,000, Rhodiumestimates.
While 27,000 jobs isn't much of a constituency, compared to what Rhodium estimates are the 700,000 U.S. jobs created by Japanese-owned companies, it's a start. U.S. business leaders havelong urged their Chinese counterparts to boost their investment and hire Americans. Doing so, thebusinessmen say, is bound to affect the thinking of U.S. lawmakers the next time they think aboutpenalizing China for trade issues, currency measures or any of the myriad other Chinese practicesthat rankle Americans.
Japan helped turn around its image in the U.S. by investing more heavily in American jobs. It'sbeen a long time since American lawmakers took a hammer to Japanese cars and trade disputesbetween the two countries rarely get out of hand. These days, it's Chinese consumers and theChinese government that have problems with Tokyo, not Americans.
It's hardly a given, however, that the U.S. will be eager to give China the chance to boostinvestment. President Obama decided recently to block a Chinese-owned firm from owning windfarms in Oregon because of national security reasons. Meanwhile, telecom firms like Huawei aresuspected of acting as listening posts for the Chinese government, and state-owned Chinese firmsare often seen as following political, not economic agendas.
'There are fears that investment from China could not have the same positive impact on jobs asforeign direct investment from other countries because (Chinese) state ownership and China'sindustrial policy might lead its firms to acquire assets overseas only to move jobs and productionback home,' said Mr. Hanemann. 'Our data shows that FDI from China is positive for employment.'