Correctional deputy Loralee Anne, right, speaks with job seekers about positions with the Riverside County Sheriff at the Career Choice Inland Empire Career Fair in Ontario, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
Three years ago, Harvard Business School asked thousands of its graduates, many of whom are leaders of America’s top companies, where their firms had decided to locate jobs in the previous year. The responses led the researchers to declare a “competitiveness problem” at home: HBS Alumni reported 56 separate instances where they moved 1,000 or more U.S. jobs to foreign countries, zero cases of moving that many jobs in one block to America from abroad, and just four cases of creating that many new jobs in the United States. Three in four respondents said American competitiveness was falling.
Harvard released a similar survey this week, which suggested executives aren’t as glum about American competitiveness as they once were; a majority of alums now say competitiveness is improving or treading water. Three years of economic growth and record corporate profits will do that for you.
Companies don’t appear any more keen on American workers today, though. The Harvard grads are down on American education and on workers’ skill sets, but they admit they’re just not really engaged in improving either area. Three-quarters said their firms would rather invest in new...