Thursday, May 31, 2012

Large US Manufacturers Plan to Return Jobs to Americans

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. manufacturer (n.) – a person or a company that uses machines to make large amounts of goods or products  
Example: Honda is one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers.

2. executive (n.) – someone whose job is to run the company or to manage and direct other people in the company
Example: The executives are in charge of deciding the company’s goals and long-term plans.          

3. plant (n.) – a factory or a building where goods are produced
Example: The class toured an auto plant to see how cars are made.

4. de facto (adj.) –existing in fact or reality but not officially accepted
Example: He is the de facto group leader, even though other group members do not recognize him as their leader.

5. recession (n.) – a period in which economy is down, and many people do not have jobs
Example: Jobs are hard to find during a recession, as many businesses stop hiring to save money.

Read the text below.

A survey says many large US-based manufacturers are open to the idea of moving production back to the US.

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) surveyed 106 US-based manufacturing executives and found that 48% of companies with over 10 billion USD in earnings are considering “re-shoring” or moving operations back to their home country.

With wages in China now rising, the country is losing its low-cost advantage. The US, on the other hand, is considered by some companies to be a de facto low-cost country, because of its high unemployment rate.

US wages are also usually lower than the wages in Western Europe and Japan. As a result, even European and Japanese companies are likely to export from US plants.

Two million US manufacturing jobs were lost during the 2007-2009 recession. BCG thinks that if the cost of manufacturing in the U.S. becomes equal or lower than in other countries, up to 3 million manufacturing jobs could be created in the U.S. by 2020.

But if the value of the US dollar suddenly rises, then “re-shoring” might slow down. Others say investments in plants overseas are still growing and that re-shoring is not common.

Furthermore, there is still a big lack of skilled people in the US who can do manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing executives say emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math in schools might solve the problem.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·          What advantages does a company have if it manufactures products in its home country?
·         What do you think about products made in your country compared to products made from other countries?

Discussion B

·         What subjects do schools emphasize or treat as important in your country? (e.g. math, science, etc.) Why are these subjects important to learn?
·         Will focusing on these subjects help people get the most in demand or needed jobs in your country? Please explain your answer.


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