In an insightful opinion piece in the April 3rd NY Times, Tom Freidman elucidates a fundamental truth about the economy - jobs are not created - except government jobs that do not provide real economic growth.
That jobs are not created is an economic fact that has eluded the U.S. Government, most policy advisers and the American public for decades.
Jobs are the result of other things that ARE created - companies are created, new products and services are created, new business models are created, distribution systems are created. It is only from these creations that jobs become a necessity - and hiring begins.
No new companies, no new products, etc - no new jobs. When a product is invented, a multitude of jobs are created - manufacturing or development, sales, marketing, distribution, customer service, finance, etc.
But as Freidman observes, without the new companies or new creations - no new jobs.
China understands this, India understands it, Singapore, Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan - they all understand new products and services have to be created in orders for new jobs to result.
And a large portion of new products are developed by engineers - hence one sees 60% of college graduates in Singapore earn engineering degrees. China nearly 40%, India 30% and so on.
In America engineering graduates are approximately 3-4% of all college graduates and many of them are foreign nationals whom our government wants to send back to their home country, so they won't take "American Jobs" - as if there is such a thing as jobs that belong only to Americans.
So, as Friedman correctly points out - if America wants jobs for the nearly 16% unemployed or underemployed - it must educate students and inspire them to careers of discovery and invention as well as invite as many engineers and scientists into America as we can get.
Supply the economy with creative engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs - encourage and support them with start-up friendly policies - and jobs will come by the millions.