SECTIONS - Making Connections
February 02, 2017

Connected Devices and the U.S. Job Picture

This column is about jobs, U.S. jobs to be specific.

Let’s start off with what will likely be taken poorly by U.S. workers. According to at least one company, you get paid more to be less loyal and show up to work less often than your Mexican counterparts.

Specifically, Gregory Hayes, the CEO of Carrier’s parent company United Technologies, told Jim Cramer of CNBC the following: “So what’s good about Mexico? We have a very talented workforce in Mexico. Wages are obviously significantly lower. About 80 percent lower, on average. But absenteeism runs about 1 percent. Turnover runs about 2 percent. [It’s a] very, very dedicated workforce.”

That turnover rate means almost no retraining and compares to the U.S. rate in manufacturing of between 9 percent for voluntary and 15 percent for total turnover. Put another way, the U.S. is a poor choice for manufacturing for a laundry list of reasons, which include taxes, regulation, and the workers themselves.

However, the U.S. elected Donald Trump president based on his platform of bringing jobs to the U.S. – especially in the rust belt. And he has been making good on this promise like no other president has made good on a promise. And it started late in 2016 – before he even got into office. Carrier will keep 1,100 jobs in the U.S., and United States Steel Corp. could bring 10,000 jobs back.

The logical benefactor of a Trump presidency is Foxconn because U.S. companies will be able to shutter jobs in the U.S. by outsourcing work to this super-successful contract-manufacturer. It’s a less obvious way of moving your manufacturing to a lower cost area. Of course Trump would eventually target Foxconn in retaliation – call them out, etc. He would make Foxconn’s life a living hell for being the reason U.S. jobs are disappearing.

This is why it was very smart of the company to be part of SoftBank’s plans to invest in the U.S. According to SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son, he plans to put more than $50 billion into the American economy. Another 50,000-plus jobs could be created as a result!

By making this news and announcement now, Foxconn insulates itself against negative tweets and comments from our new commander-in-chief. The results will likely be a win for U.S. workers because some new jobs will come back to the U.S., and at the same time Foxconn gets to continue outsourcing globally to lower cost areas.

The biggest winner will be the shareholders at companies who continue to close U.S. factories and use Foxconn instead to make their products less expensively.

Speaking of jobs, almost 8,000 wireless repair businesses employ more than 20,000 people, and that market is growing. It’s a $4 billion market!

Apple’s next-gen phones are rumored to be all glass once again, which means the market likely isn’t going away any time soon. Where, however, do the people in this industry gather to learn more about how to market themselves and how to drive more traffic to their stores?

The answer of course is the Wireless Repair Roundup, which will be collocated with ITEXPO this year in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. For more details visit    

Edited by Ken Briodagh

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