Trade, Jobs and Growth: Facts Before Folly

Trade.

Our new President rails against it, unions denigrate it, and unemployed blame it. And not without reason. On trade, jobs and economic growth, the US has performed less than stellar.

Let’s look at the data, but then drill down a bit to the nuances. Undirected bluster to reduce trade deficits and grow jobs will likely stumble on those nuances. Rather, an appreciation of economic intricacies must go hand-in-hand with bold action.

So let’s dive in.

The US Performance – Trade, Jobs and Growth

For authenticity, we turn to (by all appearances) unbiased and authoritative sources. For trade balances, we use the ITC, International Trade Commission, in Switzerland; for US employment, we use the US BLS, Bureau of Labor Statistics; and for overall economic data across countries we drawn on the World Bank.

Per the ITC, the United State amassed a merchandise trade deficit of $802 billion in 2015, the largest such deficit of any country. This deficit exceeds the sum of the deficits for the next 18 countries. The deficit does not represent an aberration; the US merchandise trade deficit averaged $780 billion over the last 5 years, and we have run a deficit for all the last 15 years.

The merchandise trade deficit hits key sectors. In 2015, consumer electronics ran a deficit of $167 billion; apparel $115 billion; appliances and furniture $74 billion; and autos $153 billion. Some of these deficits have increased noticeably since 2001: Consumer electronics up 427%, furniture and appliances up 311%. In terms of imports to exports, apparel imports run 10 times exports, consumer electronics 3 times; furniture and appliances 4 times.

Autos has a small silver lining, the deficit up a relatively moderate 56% in 15 years, about equal to inflation plus growth. Imports exceed exports by a disturbing but, in relative terms, modest 2.3 times.

On jobs, the BLS reports a loss of 5.4 million US manufacturing jobs from 1990 to 2015, a 30% drop. No other major employment category lost jobs. Four states, in the “Belt” region, dropped 1.3 million jobs collectively.

The US economy has only stumbled forward. Real growth for the past 25 years has averaged only just above two percent. Income and wealth gains in that period have landed mostly in the upper income groups, leaving the larger swath of America feeling stagnant and anguished.

The data paint a distressing picture: the US economy, beset by persistent trade deficits, hemorrhages manufacturing jobs and flounders in low growth. This picture points – at least at first look – to one element of the solution. Fight back against the flood of imports.

The Added Perspectives – Unfortunate Complexity

Unfortunately, economics rarely succumbs to simple explanations; complex interactions often underlie the dynamics.

So let’s take some added perspectives.

While the US amasses the largest merchandise trade deficit, that deficit does not rank the largest as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP.) Our country hits about 4.5% on that basis. The United Kingdom hits a 5.7% merchandise trade deficit as a percent of GDP; India a 6.1%, Hong Kong a 15% and United Arab Emirates an 18%. India has grown over 6% per year on average over the last quarter century, and Hong Kong and UAE a bit better than 4%. Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Ethiopia, Pakistan, in all about 50 countries run merchandise trade deficits as a group averaging 9% of GDP, but grow 3.5% a year or better.

Note the term “merchandise” trade deficit. Merchandise involves tangible goods – autos, Smartphones, apparel, steel. Services – legal, financial, copyright, patent, computing – represent a different group of goods, intangible, i.e. hard to hold or touch. The US achieves here a trade surplus, $220 billion, the largest of any country, a notable partial offset to the merchandise trade deficit.

The trade deficit also masks the gross dollar value of trade. The trade balance equals exports minus imports. Certainly imports represent goods not produced in a country, and to some extent lost employment. On the other hand, exports represent the dollar value of what must be produced or offered, and thus employment which occurs. In exports, the US ranks first in services and second in merchandise, with a combined export value of $2.25 trillion per year.

Now, we seek here not to prove our trade deficit benevolent, or without adverse impact. But the data do temper our perspective.

First, with India as one example, we see that trade deficits do not inherently restrict growth. Countries with deficits on a GDP basis larger than the US have grown faster than the US. And further below, we will see examples of countries with trade surpluses, but which did not grow rapidly, again tempering a conclusion that growth depends directly on trade balances.

Second, given the importance of exports to US employment, we do not want action to reduce our trade deficit to secondarily restrict or hamper exports. This applies most critically where imports exceed exports by smaller margins; efforts here to reduce a trade deficit, and garner jobs, could trigger greater job losses in exports.

Job Loss Nuances

As note earlier, manufacturing has endured significant job losses over the last quarter century, a 30% reduction, 5.4 million jobs lost. Key industries took even greater losses, on a proportional basis. Apparel lost 1.3 million jobs or 77% of its US job base; electronics employment dropped 540 thousand or 47%, and paper lost 270 thousand jobs, or 42%.

A state-by-state look, though, reveals some twists. While the manufacturing belt receives attention, no individual state in that belt – Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan – suffered the greatest manufacturing loss for a state. Rather, California lost more manufacturing jobs than any state, 673 thousand. And on a proportional basis, North Carolina, at a manufacturing loss equal to 8.6% of its total job base, lost a greater percent than any of the five belt states.

Why then do California and North Carolina not generally arise in discussions of manufacturing decline? Possibly due to their generating large numbers of new jobs.

The five belts states under discussion lost 1.41 million manufacturing jobs in the last quarter century. During that period, those five states offset those loses and grew the job base 2.7 million new jobs, a strong response.

Similarly, four non-belt states – California and North Carolina, mentioned above, plus Virginia and Tennessee – lost 1.35 million manufacturing jobs. Those states, however, offset those loses and generated a net of 6.2 million new jobs.

The belt states thus grew 1.9 jobs per manufacturing job lost, while the four states grew 4.6 jobs per manufacturing job lost.

Other states mimic this disparity. New York and New Jersey ran a job growth to manufacturing job lost ratio of under two (1.3 and 2.0 respectively), Rhode Island less than one (at .57), and Massachusetts just over two (at 2.2). Overall, the 8 states of the Northeast (New England plus New York and New Jersey) lost 1.3 million manufacturing jobs, equal to 6.5% of the job base, but grew the job base by only 1.7 jobs per manufacturing job loss.

In contrast, seven states that possess heavy manufacturing employment, and losses, but lie outside the belt, the Northeast, and the CA/VA/TN/NC group, grew 4.6 jobs per manufacturing job lost. These seven are Maryland, Georgia, South Carolina. Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, and Arizona.

For the four groups, here are the job growth percentages, over the last quarter century.

Northeast                        12.6%                      8 States

Belt 12.3% 5 States

VA/TN/CA/NC 30.2% 4 States

Group of Seven 27.3% 7 States

Imports definitely triggered manufacturing job loss. But states in the last two groups rebounded more strongly. In a particularly good recovery, North Carolina, once heavy in furniture and apparel, lost 44% of its manufacturing jobs, but did not see stagnation of its economic base.

Why? Manufacturing loss due to imports stands as only one determinant of overall job growth. Other factors – climate, taxes, cost of living, unionization (or lack of), congestion (or lack of), government policies, educational base, population trends – impact job creation equally or more. North Carolina for example, features universities and research centers; moderately sized and relatively uncongested cities (Charlotte and Raleigh); low unionization; temperate winters; and so on.

This does not downplay the hardships that individuals, families and communities experience from manufacturing job loss. And job growth in other sectors does not offer a direct cure for manufacturing declines. The higher paying jobs in other sectors often require college or advanced degrees, something those losing a manufacturing job may not possess.

A note of caution though. Even absent trade, technology and automation drive growing requirements for college education. Manufacturing workers directly build less; rather workers control machines, complex computer-controlled machines, which build. Operating those machines, designing those machines, programming those machines, that type work increasingly involves advanced degrees.

Think historically. Automation reduced farm employment, and all but made extinct elevator operators, ice deliverers and telephone switchboard cord workers. Similarly, automation today has and will continue to impact manufacturing employment.

Trade Deficits and National Growth

Let’s return now to country-to-country comparisons, to search for added insights. Earlier we saw that countries with trade deficits had achieved strong economic growth. So a deficit does not inherently create economic stagnation.

Let’s now look at the flip side – do trade surpluses trigger growth. China certainly has achieved both. They have grown, on average, an amazing 9-10% per year for the last quarter century, and have amazed a trade surplus with the world of $325 billion per year over the last five years.

Other countries have achieved the same dual success, of trade surpluses and strong growth. Korea, Ireland, Singapore, Nigeria, are among a list of ten major countries with consistent trade surpluses and strong growth.

A wider scan though, across approximately 140 countries for which the World Bank/ITC report data on both GDP growth and trade, shows more complexity. In particular, another group of 18 countries achieved trade surpluses, but did not growth appreciably more than the US.

Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and Brazil, among others, populate this group. Overall, this group attains trade surpluses at five percent of GDP, but has grown on average only about 1.5% in real terms over the last quarter century. This growth underperforms the US.

In a further look, three countries with apparel imports to the US – Vietnam, Pakistan and Bangladesh – have extraordinary growth, but have trade deficits. Overall, across the 140 countries, no detectable relation exists between trade surpluses/deficits and growth.

Productivity

What does show a relation to growth, in the World Bank data? Per capita GDP, in a counter intuitive way. Countries with lower per capital GDP have grown faster, while those with the highest per capita have averaged a meager 2% growth over the last 15-25 years.

This reverse relation, higher per capita aligned with lower growth, highlights a major, if not the major, determinant of growth, productivity. GDP represents that total of what a country produces. And for a given worker base, GDP can grow only if the workers produce more per worker, i.e. improve productivity.

Now compare the opportunity to apply efficiency gains in low per capita verses high per capita countries. Though not universally true, in many parts of low per capita countries good opportunities exist due to the limited adoption of the best available means. Efficiency gains in farming, and in manufacturing, and in distribution, basically in almost all facets of the economy, can be achieved by adopting efficiency measures already available from and proven by other countries.

Not so in high per capita countries. Such countries, in achieving high per capita GDP, their high output per worker, have likely already deployed available efficiency techniques. Efficiency gains cannot simply be pulled “off-the-shelf” or brought in from other countries or firms. Rather such gains must arise from, often complex and pain-taking, research, trial and analysis.

Productivity alone certainly does not determine economic growth. Population trends, labor force participation, education infrastructure, capacity utilization, these and other items also enable or retard economic growth. But productivity provides the base upon which those other factors build.

North America

We should study a region receiving strong attention, the North American market. Much discussion has been directed at the trade in that market and the impact of trade agreements.

In the last 15 years, rather than increase, the US combined trade deficit with Mexico and Canada has decreased $5 billion per year, from $87 billion to $82 billion. This decline consists of a $35 billion decrease in the deficit with Canada and a $30 billion increase with Mexico. At a product level, the US trade deficit with Mexico/Canada combined increased for autos ($23 billion a year increase), oil ($11 billion), and electronics ($5 billion); and decreased for chemicals ($14 Billion), aircraft/ships/trains ($7 billion) and apparel ($6 billion). The deficit also decreased for paper products, lumber, and metals, and increased for furniture, agriculture and pharmaceuticals.

The $5 billion shift in the deficit masks the rather enormous growth on a gross basis of trade. Imports to the US from Canada and Mexico increased $245 billion between 2001 and 2015, and exports increased $251 billion in the same period. Note the balance between the increases, with export growth matching, actually exceeding, import growth. This speaks of a relative balance in employment impacts.

For example, North American trade can involve US sending medical equipment to Mexico, equipment not available from a Mexican producer, and Mexico sending agricultural goods to the US, goods out of season for US farms. Both countries benefit with added products, and both benefit from added employment. Even if imports from Mexico substitute for goods that could have been produced in the US (i.e. the imports hurt American workers), the relative balance of import/export growth in North America means this substitution offsets.

That relative balance is important. We will see later a lack of such balance with China.

North American trade also builds efficient supply chains. We can picture that US efficiently produced chemicals feed into low cost production of auto parts in Mexico, while American engineers in Michigan design cars which will use engines from Canada and plastic parts from Mexico for assembly in Ohio. Certainly we would like the parts made in Mexico to rather be made in America, and same with the engines, but the US competes with the world in the auto market. Absent efficient supply chains, US autos will become increasingly non-competitive in the world market. China has yet to significantly penetrate the American auto market, and efficient North American supply chains will provide a defense against the Chinese juggernaut.

Trade also lowers prices. While lower prices lack the visceral impact of a closing plant, we can picture that American sub-compact cars, made lower in cost through production across North America, remaining competitive with imports. Thus a US college graduate buys a Ford, Dodge, or Chevy, rather than a Korean import.

Further, North American trade gives American export producers greater economies of scale. So a Canadian or Mexican outdoor enthusiast buys an American made high-tech hiking boot, rather than one made in Asia because the American producer gained efficiencies by selling into the larger North American market.

What do we make of this? On balance, neutral. Some pluses, some minuses. Mexico has taken manufacturing jobs, but exports to Mexico offer job opportunities. We compete with Mexican and Canadian products, but American producers sell to a larger market. We run a deficit, but the deficit has stabilized. Imports have risen, but exports more so. And all involved obtain lower prices and integrated supply chains.

Can trade agreements in North America be improved? Certainly. Can American companies bring a finer pencil to cost reduction to keep manufacturing in America? Certainly. Should harsh publicity and government review of plant closings bring counter pressure on corporations driven by Wall Street interests? Certainly.

But on balance North American trade impacts America in a neutral way.

But this pertains to North America. Next, Asian Pacific. The impact reigns not so neutral, at least with respect to one country.

Asian Pacific

One country, China.

China dominates.

China dominates the trade dollars with the US, with the whole word for that matter.

China ranks as the number one merchandise export country, with $2.2 billion in 2015. Since 2001, China has grown its exports by 750%. China has the highest trade surplus of any country, with an average surplus of $325 billion over the last five years, and $600 billion in 2015 as dropping oil prices trimmed the value of Chinese oil imports.

As for the US, China accumulated a 2015 trade surplus of $386 billion. That Chinese trade surplus with the US (aka US trade deficit with China) represents 48% of the total US merchandise trade deficit for that year. Japan, which in 2001 garnered 16% of the US trade deficit, dropped to 9% by 2015. Mexico hit 7.0% of our deficit in 2001, and despite rhetoric took only 7.6% in 2015. Canada dropped from 12.6% to 2.6%. The Chinese portion of our trade deficit dwarfs that of any other country.

Between 2001 and 2015 the US deficit with China increased by $296 billion. That represents a mind-numbing 84% of the total increase in the US deficit in that period. That means the remaining 16% was spread across our almost 225 other trading partners.

A key feature of trade involves the ratio of imports to exports. We discussed that in the North American trade section. If that ratio, of imports to exports, stands near one, i.e. our imports do not radically exceed exports, then the trade export flow to that country nominally generates employment in the US offsetting lost employment opportunity of the imports. With Canada we run 1.1, and Mexico 1.25 (and 0.7 and 1.22 on the increase since 2001), so that as explained above, our trade flows with those countries balance, and the employment impacts stays approximately neutral.

China does not fit that mold. We run an import to exports ratio with China of 4.3, or $4.30 of imports to every $1.00 of exports. Thus Chinese imports reduce employment potential with no offsetting employment generated by exports to China.

Removal of China from our trade statistics further highlights the singular impact of China. Removing China, and adding in services, the US exported $2.1 trillion in products and services in 2015, against imports of $2.3 trillion. The ratio of imports to exports, on this basis, drops to a favorable 1.1, and the $200 billion deficit runs at only a bit bigger than 1% of GDP. With China removed, the countries with which the US runs the largest trade deficits are Germany and Japan. We should be able to compete with those two developed countries, without concern about low wage labor.

We can compare the Chinese trade dominance in the US with the lack of dominance of other Asian and Asian Pacific countries. India provides a critical example, as it parallels China as a large developing rapidly growing Asian country. China, as noted before, achieved a world trade surplus of $325 billion per year over five years; India a trade deficit of $78 billion a year (5 year average). With respect to the US, India garnered a 2015 surplus of $25 billion, a positive, but quite small compared to $386 billion mentioned above of China.

A wider look across Asia shows the same. Combined, the 13 major Asian countries outside China and India (for example Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan) run a world trade deficit, as a last five year average, of $45 billion. The combined GDP of these countries equals China’s, but the US trade deficit with the 13 amounts to about a third of China’s, and importantly the increase in the deficit since 2001 hits a modest $29 billion, one-tenth China’s increase. The key US import/export ratio with the 15 stands at 1.6, not outstanding, but less than the 4.3 with China.

China then has unmistakably outpaced it Asian neighbors in trade success, both with the world and with the US.

While many factors contributed to Chinese success, unique trade deals do not appear among them. True China entered the World Trade Organization in 2001, but essentially every major country belongs. China just managed trade and economic growth better. Other countries, India, Korea and Indonesia mentioned above, performed much less spectacularly, facing nominally the same opportunities and constraints as China.

China’s dominance centers on four key areas: electronics, furniture/appliance, apparel and consumer products. (Call these the “four key groups”). In these four key groups they ran a trade surplus with the world of over $750 billion (2015 year). Astounding.

Can the US, or any non-Asian country take over Chinese dominance in the four key groups? The train has likely left the station for now. China has created an intricate supply chain, an extensive distribution infrastructure, and a large manufacturing base, in the four key areas. These strengths are buttressed by their possession of a large, low cost labor pool. To the degree China falters (for example with rising labor costs), other Asian countries appear ready to take up slack.

The US can certainly grow its capabilities in these four key groups, and forestall and even roll back parts of the Chinese incursion. But overtaking China would likely involve years of steep tariffs to protect the American turnaround in the four key areas. We can imagine trade wars, likely ugly. And we can certainly imagine significantly higher prices, both from what would initially and maybe ultimately be high costs in US production, and from the price impact of tariffs on imports.

But China does not dominate everywhere. They rate as minor players in a number of key sectors – autos, aircraft, chemicals, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and importantly fuel. China runs deficits in these areas.

Conclusions – at the Point

What can we conclude so far?

A singular focus on trade deficit reduction will not assuredly stimulate economic growth or job creation. Rather, economic growth depends heavily on productivity; and high per capita countries on average grow slower since productivity increases must arise via innovation and not adoption. And state-by-state data show that job growth depends not just on manufacturing and exports but many factors.

The data also show complex, intertwined trade flows in North America, and a lack of devastatingly large deficits. Rather, the net deficit has remained essentially level since 2001, and the integration of the North American markets likely helps North America remain competitive, for example in autos, in the world market. Further, given the close balance of imports to exports in that market for the US, an all-out focus on reducing the trade deficits in North America will likely decrease export employment to the same extent that reduced deficits improve that employment.

But a clear finding involves China. China has built a dominance in four key sectors, a dominance that rests now on several decades of integration and investment. A frontal assault on the Chinese juggernaut in those areas likely wastes resources. Also after China, Japan and Germany, having no wage advantage, still hold the next largest trade deficits with the US.

Oil, Auto, Areas of Strength, Divergence of Interest, and Export Deficiency

Within the US trade deficit hides an amazing story, oil. In 2008 our trade deficit in oil and related soared to over $400 billion. In 2015 that deficit shrank to under $100 billion.

This story shows petroleum clearly represents an area where the US possesses strong resources, advanced technology and deep infrastructure. Currently the US runs a net trade deficit in oil. However, the amazing performance since 2008 points to petroleum as an area for further reduction in imports, and for actual net export growth.

Add to petroleum, the sectors chemicals, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and even advance industrial and medical equipment. Thus US runs surpluses. And of course services. The US has tripled it trade surplus in services in the last 10 years.

Autos represents another success. Recall earlier that, unlike apparel, or electronics, or furniture, or paper, where imports devastated manufacturing employment and trade deficits increase by large multiples, auto trade deficits grew modestly. Auto manufacturing lost only 14% of its employment in the last 25 years.

And critically the integrated North America market arguably assists in the US capabilities. As for China, they run a trade deficit in autos. And US brands received wide acceptance and high sales in China. Autos, unlike say socks, or even Smartphones, involve complex manufacturing and components, thus China can not immediately close its manufacturing gap in autos.

Realize, though, a divergence of interest. Global corporations seeks financial goals, regardless of geography. Workers, and governments, seek jobs, with specific regard to geography. A divergence ensues. American workers desire the US auto makers to produce Chinese bound cars in America, while the auto makers, seeking financial goals, produce those Chinese cars in China.

We also have another, surprising, divergence. While the US in dollar terms ranks high in imports and exports, as a percent of GDP the US stand apart in how low it ranks. US imports comprise but 12% of GDP, among the lowest percentage of all countries. On the export side, US exports comprise but 8% of GDP, not just among the lowest but just about the lowest of any country.

This perspective points to a different approach to manufacturing jobs in trade intensive industries.

Compete, not Confrontation with Trade Wars

What now emerges for our look at trade flows, jobs and economic growth?

First, if we desire overall American economic growth, do not focus first on trade. Trade can, but will not assuredly, stimulate overall growth. Rather, for general growth, take action on productivity (i.e. to jump start more output per worker), or stimulate demand (to pull more workers into the labor force and/or increase work hours per worker.)

But overall growth can leave groups of workers behind, including those employed in traditional manufacturing jobs in trade sensitive industries. True, workers can move to a state which has seen job growth, and can get the necessary training and education to transition to a non-manufacturing job. We should, however, do better than just expect the workers themselves to deal with globalization and automation.

We all, in the form of our government, should help, with appropriate action to stimulate manufacturing employment.

What action? Well, do not pick a trade fight with Mexico. We export about as much as we import, so a fight risks as much as it might gain. And we need a unified North America market to build the supply chains and achieve the economies of scale needed to complete globally.

This does not preclude blunt, frank discussions, and even measures, but with the realization we want Mexico as a partner.

Do not mount a frontal assault on Chinese imports. Certainly, the US can sustain and even expand our apparel production, or furniture making, and electronics assembly, even with Chinese strength here. We can not though, beat back or overtake the well-developed, low wage cost, integrated production base of China and Southeast Asia.

What can we do? Boost exports. America ranks terribly low in export percentage of GDP. And America generates products other countries desire. China values American car brands, the world needs geopolitically neutral oil, our industrial equipment and medical technology vie world-wide, American designer furniture and custom apparel can still compete, and our natural gas feedstocks allow low cost, high value chemical production.

How can public policy boost exports, i.e. align corporate and national interest? In a way that might be an unusual twist. Allow corporations to bring back – untaxed – the billions in un-repatriated profits parked in foreign countries. But only if they invest the profits in manufacturing and similar job creation.

We must proceed with caution here as WTO rules restrict direct subsidization of exports. This special tax-free incentive thus would focus on jobs, with exports a means by which corporations could generate sales to support jobs.

Software companies hold the most un-repatriated profits, you might say. And software development provides only a poor opportunity for displaced manufacturing workers.

However, software will drive (literally) future self-driving cars. Unlike Smartphones, where China beat the US, and the world, in production, America appears at or near the fore front in development of self-driving cars, and then hopefully production. Partnerships between software and auto corporations makes sense, and thus a repatriation incentive can advance such partnerships.

What else to spur exports? Publicize corporate performance. A rather obscure provision, Part 583, provides an example. That rule requires auto manufacturers to publicize the American and Canadian content of cars. For example, Mitsubishi, Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo, Mazda, Kia, among others, perform horribly in this metric, less than 10%. Honda, in contrast, reaches over 50%.

But I sense few follow these statistics. Thus, Part 583 requires supercharging.

Very simply, expand the rule, dramatically. Specify that all major companies, Walmart, GE, Exxon/Mobil, automakers, and on and on, report key metrics like local content percentages, percent of foreign sales produced in the US, and similar items.

These two proposals, one for repatriation incentives and one for Part 583 expansion, are offered as real candidates for action. But any equivalent action can be taken. The key lies in the strategy. Do not start confrontations with Mexico and China over imports. Certainly stem the tide, and aggressively negotiate.

But do not retaliate. Do not start trade wars. Rather, especially given the export deficient stature of the US, focus on expanding exports to Mexico, China, and other countries, from sectors of American strength.

Look forward more, and backward less. We can not go back and become the electronics assembler of the world. We can go forward to excel in design and production of self-driving cars, of advanced aircraft and rockets, of both high volume and specialty chemicals, and in services, like software, architecture, law, environmental control.

Final words? Mexico provides a partner, not a foe. China offers a market, not an enemy. For plant closings, certainly bring scrutiny. On corporations, publicize export/import data. Negotiate hard. Compete aggressively. Boost exports with wise incentives.

But don’t pick fights. And don’t start trade wars. Be tough. But also wise.

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A New Generation Emerges: How Micro Jobs Are on Your Side

Looking for work? Somebody out there wants you to design websites, write an application for mobile phones, maybe remotely sort out their network, or just do PC support, either on site or via the internet. And they don’t want to do it all formally. It’s more like “You do this for me, and I give you money”

Our world has become extremely small. No, we won’t be running out of space soon, but as far as computing is concerned, very small. We are capable of controlling a computer on the other side of the world remotely (with the owners’ permission, of course) and fix or modify it without breaking a sweat.

Whether you call this consulting, freelance or “Micro Jobs,” more of us are headed that way, according to Kristin Cardinale. The author of The 9-to-5 Cure, Cardinale cites U.S. Department of Labor projections that “millions of short-term workers” are needed.

Short-term gigs can help programmers meet specific goals like paying for their studies, saving towards a new car, or just having some spare cash lying around.

Many people simply don’t want to punch a clock, according to Odd Jobs: How to Have Fun and Make Money in a Bad Economy “Usually you decide when you work and when you take the morning off to sleep, or the week off to go skiing,” writes author Abigail R. Gehring. “And the variety of people you will meet, places you’ll find yourself and skill sets you’ll discover are sure to keep life interesting.”

Pros and cons.

OK, before you zoom off to go and quit your day job, there are (always) a few things you have to remember: Working for yourself is challenging.

If you think self-employment equals endless free time, think again, it’s not always so.

However, this working lifestyle may be perfect for people who:

  • Are not Office Johnnies, and prefer to work on their own, at their own pace,
  • People who travel long distances, and find that the time and cost of getting to work are sometimes not worth the effort.
  • Have a special skill, and wants to make these known to a large audience of clients.

Other advantages of being your own boss?

  • Work according to your own hours.
  • Every day is Casual Friday!
  • Take holidays whenever you want, provided of course, you are on schedule.
  • Meetings between you and the client are really easy to arrange.

However, there are (always) the potential disadvantages:

  • Work-play balance control, There is an amount of dedication involved.
  • You need to keep your administration under control.
  • No insurance or retirement. (Some full-time jobs don’t provide these, either.)
  • You work alone. No other colleagues to chat to. (May be an advantage)
  • Unpredictable, and fluctuations of income. It will be important to budget properly.

Right, so how do I do this?

The Internet has always been your friend. There are many sites that offer freelancers the ability to post their listing, often for free. Clients react to these post fairly quickly, obviously depending on the type of work you have to offer.

Some sites even allow clients to bid on your work, and you can then accept the individual or company that you want to work with.

Google the net for reputable sites and work with them. Try the Micro Jobs arena and see how it pans out for you. There is lots of money to be made in this new and wonderful money-making haven, and the whole concept just makes a lot of sense.

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Online Jobs Versus Online Businesses

It’s Your Online Business, Not Your Online Hobby

An online business versus an online job has a different mentality for the individual. A job is something you do for someone else. It’s something that dominates your day and your time with a prearranged schedule.

The job is your master, not the other way around. You work for someone else. Even if this is online the truth remains the same… you are still an employee. You have heard that you can make money online through working online for a company or a third party (this is not as an affiliate or a salesperson). You do jobs for someone else and complete a W4.

This to me is literally the lifestyle I intended to avoid when I got into online business. This model could not and would not do.

I know you see the ads. “We are looking to give stay at home mom jobs”, but you may find that some of these places not only do not offer you a good job but will stick you with a horrible schedule. Not all of them are like this, though some are.

Why I like the online business model

For me it’s about control. I like to control my day. If I want to work in the morning, I can do this. If I want to work late into the wee hours of the night… it’s my right. Why? Because I decide how successful (or unsuccessful) my business is and this is through my effort.

It can be the highest paid hard work I ever done or the easiest, lowest paid work I have ever done. This lies squarely on my shoulders. You see the problem with a lot of online companies you may work for is stability.

Many of them catch people unawares stating grandiose claims making things look easy. For example, you may read something like “Earn Money Online Today, $55-$65 hour, no experience required”.

What happens is that unsuspecting folks who trust these people invest time, money, and effort into a business that might not last the rest of the year. I have seen this with my own eyes. I always advocate starting your own online business. Why you ask? Who can you trust better than you? I will tell you, if I am going to invest in anything it will be me, period.

You Won’t Let You Down

When you succeed those you love succeed. Those you care about succeed. It’s about grabbing your dream and never letting it go. Working for someone else is helping them promote their dream through your effort. Working for yourself helps you to bring your dreams to fruition.

I know where the difficulty comes in. It is at the point of the beginning. How do you get started? Where do you start? Can I startup my online business quickly and with a minimal amount of investment?

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Teens, Jobs and School: The Pros and Cons

Most teens realize at a fairly young age the old adage that "money equals power." Money equals designer clothes, a car and insurance, and in many cases, a certain amount of freedom. And in order to get money, many teens get part-time jobs.

While the benefits and / or drawbacks of teens and part-time jobs have been researched, studied and debated since at least 1979, the teens, jobs and affects on schoolwork verdict is still out. According to the US Department of Labor, 50 percent of American teenagers hold informal jobs, such as babysitting or yard work, by age 12. And by age 15, nearly two-thirds of American teens have had some kind of employment. And many researchers, including those on government panels like the National Commission on Youth praise part-time work and say it contributes to the transition from youth to adulthood.

Parents and educators alike have, for decades, said that part-time jobs teach children how to be responsible and manage money. But Temple University researcher Laurence Steinberg found that only 11 percent of students report saving most of their money for college, and only three percent contribute to household living expenses. "The bulk of teen's money goes to clothing, cars, entertainment, and in some cases, drugs and alcohol," according to results of a study published in Harvard Education Letter in 1998.

Steinberg says, "Students who work longer hours report diminished engagement in schooling, lowered school performance, increased psychological distress, higher drug and alcohol use, higher rates of delinquency and greater autonomy from parental control." A 1997 study by David Stern, director of the National Research Center for Vocational Education at the University of California, Berkeley, proves Steinberg's viewpoint. In research conducted over 20 years, students who worked more than 15 hours per week had lower grades, did less homework, had higher dropout rates and were less likely to go to college than students who worked under 15 hours per week.

But Jerald Bachman at the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Project, warns not to jump to cause and effect conclusions. "I would argue that most of the problems that correlate with working long hours are more fundamentally caused," he says. "That may contribute the to spiral, but I think the spiral is well underway at the time they elect to work the long hours."

Though the drawbacks to a busy, part-time job are many, so are the benefits. A teenager's job can teach work skills that school does not, and it can instill in the teen new confidence, sense of responsibility and independence. Earning money will enable your teen to buy things and to manage money. An after-school job can also provide adult supervision, especially if you work longer hours than those in a typical school day. And the right job may provide networking possibilities and set your child on a rewarding lifetime career path.

But before your child gets a job, there are some things you should know. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, "Minors under 14 years of age may not be employed or permitted to work in any occupation, except children employed on farms or in domestic service in private homes." Children under the age of 14 can also work on farms, be golf caddies, newspaper carriers or juvenile performers in the entertainment industry. But special permits may need to be required.

Also according to many state labor laws, teens aged 14 and 15 are not permitted to work more than four hours per day during the school year and not before 7 am or after 7 pm (During the summer, the amount of hours of work per day can be increased to eight.) Children under the age of 16 are prohibited, by Pennsylvania law, for example, from working in bowling centers (unless as snack bar attendants, scorers or control desk clerks), building heavy work, highway work, anywhere liquor is sold or dispensed, manufacturing, on scaffolds or ladders and window cleaning.

For 16 and 17 year olds, the some state laws say, "minors are not to work before 6 am or after midnight on school days and 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays." Also, not more than eight hours per day and 28 hours per school week. (During the summer, the only restrictions on 16 and 17 year olds, is that they can work no more than eight hours per day or 44 hours per week.) Young adults under the age of 18 are prohibited from working in billiard rooms; doing electrical work; operating elevators; performing crane and hoisting operations; excavating; operating machinery that does woodworking, bakery mixing, cleaning, oiling or punch pressing; roofing; welding; and doing demolition.

Your teen securing a job is a big step on the road to maturity. Be sure to discuss the pros and the cons with him or her. You may also want to agree to a job on a trial basis, such as "you can work x number of hours a week this grading period and then we will decide if you can keep working, based on your grades." Maintaining good grades, continuing extra curricular activities and keeping a social life will be important to your child's psychological health and development. Also, prepare a budget with your child, setting limits on spending and enforcing a percentage-of-paycheck-into-savings policy. Good money management skills, acquired when young, will last a lifetime. Part-time jobs can be a wonderful experience, with the right supervision and parental guidance.

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Our Failures Prove Meaningful – A Note To Steve Jobs’ Stanford Revelation

‘Now each of you is going to name his or her most favourite life motivator. One whose philosophy you adhere to unconditionally,’ said a psychology professor in an integration class for university novices when the academic year rolled out, straight after my high school graduation. Fresh, inexperienced and village-originated, it came out soon that I feared myself from mingling with loud, aggressive and several pontifical city-grown-ups, so that my concentration in classes gradually decreased and hangouts with somebody alike was out of question.

Despite arrangements for stay at my elder aunt’s and my family’s pride on first member for a long time accepted to university, I was suffering. Even though I was surprising myself with study results in detested courses such as Math or Meteorology, there was no experience of the ‘student life’ for which many end up missing their academic years once over. I felt and was mostly alone; taking piercing looks and by-comments to heart, fighting it with ever more in-depth self-studies, long-runs and well-being simulation. Wearing a mask grew oppressive; my uncle back home was progressively submitting his self-conscience to Parkinson and, meanwhile the second term, he died. Attending mourners were greedy for uplifting information on my progress, building another level of oppression with stressful expectations from me. Another elder aunt’s health back home was getting down. Finally, I announced inevitable year-interruption of my studies, which of course turned out to be my own choice of spillout as well.

I did not have my ‘motivating pacemaker’ back then, except that I was possessed with spiritual works of Paulo Coelho and thus named him to the class, which was met with recognition, say nearly everyone knew him and nearly no one named religiously non-iconic or mass non-leading examples. I had never thought of Paulo Coelho as my inner motivator and I had not appointed him to be. I merely stretched out for him in emergency. Now I know that, like him, I like entering people’s ‘interiors’ to weaken their cancers of self devaluation and of world malady impression.

Steve Jobs, a renowned life motivator, gave one of his most winning stimulating public revelations with a tint of academic-commencers reflection. May this realistic picture of ‘failures’ do not shatter anyone’s stability based on wrong presumption that ‘one needs to lean on a successful life-inspiring person’ where only the success deems inspirational. For knowing the successful side only leads to copying. Whereas knowing the true struggle, which preceded, leads to the essential learning.

And so amiable Steve Jobs unloads significant portion of feared concerns from the newly admitted Stanford students by serving them the truth of life inevitability to failures, which are going to turn in their favour, as long as they do not settle by giving everything up. No theatrical sugar talk, but a seemingly ‘dramatic’ BREAKFAST OF HOT REALITY, DRY FEARS AND HARD-BOILED OUTCOMES to waken them, the still unfamiliar young ones, and, at the same time, to remind the experienced ones, that ‘NO ONE IS EVER TO ESCAPE’ the ‘final count-down’. Thus cherish your limited time, ignore the dreary surrounding opinions and become passionate about ‘what you truly want to become’, because no one else but us sets the verge of the road.

Incidentally, outside of Jobs’ opening speech we received a complementary tool for unsettled hunger for life and ‘foolishness’, and that is Steve’s discovered and developed SKILL OF PERCEPTION, OUR INTERPRETATION of passed and contemporary to near and distant future.

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Why Choose HTML to Create Your Website?

When it comes to web development then among all the languages that are widely used for the same, the name of HTML comes first. Hyper Text Markup language is considered as the most sophisticate and user-friendly web programming language worldwide. This language is one of the hundreds of thousands of markup languages ever created by the computer programmers.

As HTML is a human created language, one can easily understand what the subject, predicate and object is. However, the primary advantages of using the HTML language in web development are:

• Cost and Time saving: this is one of the biggest advantages you will get by using HTML language. If you use other web development tools and technologies then you may cost a handsome amount of money, but with HTML no more wastage of money. You will get the same quality in your website at much affordable cost than any other program.

As the language is quite sophisticated and easy to handle, it also saves a lot of time of the developers.

• No need to have knowledge about HTML: if you don’t have adequate knowledge about HTML language then also don’t worry, because there are hundreds of the HTML programmers available in the current time who will design your website for you at affordable cost.

• Using the HTML made websites is quite sophisticated and hassle-free. The visitors will not face any type of problem while browsing such a website.

• Flexibility in updating: you can easily update tools and programs of your HTML made website, but when it comes to PHP or Flash based websites then it will be rather tough for you to update your website.

• As HTML language involves no complication you will not face any kind of problem while performing the entire task.

• High quality design: with HTML designing you will not have to be disappointed in the qualitative aspect. Because, good designers can build nice designed website for you.

Apart from all these advantages, HTML language provides several other advantages to the developers and the users. But the thing is that you need to accomplish the entire work of HTML designing by an expert. If an experienced HTML designer performs your website designing then it will definitely reflect on your website.

In order to design your website through HTML at affordable cost, simply go for application development outsourcing. Through this service you will be able to get high quality services at much affordable costs.

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HTML Troubleshooting – Bullet Point Lists

Bullet points are a great way of allowing readers to scan a page and quickly find the information they need. This is important for websites as visitors only take a few seconds to search for whatever they want. If information is not found quickly, then readers will move on to another website. Some web pages contain a lot of information which makes it difficult to find specific information. The use of short bullet points helps to break up blocks of text and direct visitors to important details. Bullet point lists are created for websites using HTML coding. This article explains the different types of lists which may be created with HTML coding and looks at the use of images and icons to separate list items.

There are two types of bulleted lists. A numbered list is referred to as an “ordered list”. This would be used for a set of instructions which should be followed in a sequence of 1, 2, 3 etc. Letters of the alphabet may also be used for an ordered list. In this case, each item would commence with a, b, c and so on. Authors of formal documents might use Roman numerals I, II, II, IV, although this is less common on web pages.

An “un-ordered” list is a bulleted list of items separated by a dot, circle, square or a small image known as an icon.

The majority of bullet list items are separated by a black dot. This makes the list easy to read:

• First item

• Second item

• Third item

The dot can be changed to a square or circle by a simple change to the HTML code. The use of a coloured dot, square or image requires the use of a CSS style sheet. Using an image for a bullet point helps the list items to blend in with the colour theme of the website and gives a professional look to web pages. Images for bullet point lists are generally in the size range of 8×8 pixels to 12×12 pixels. Larger icons of 16×16 pixels are also used on web pages to attract attention to specific items of information.

Images and icons for bullet point list may be found on the internet, but care should be taken to ensure that there are no copyrights or restrictions on use before downloading and using an image on a website. It is also possible to create icons from images by reducing the image to an appropriate size.

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HTML and Web Design

HTML is one of the most creative ways to start a professional skill. It is extremely easy to learn, and its well worth the effort needed to create helpful websites using HTML. With only a few weeks of studying and working, users can already understand the basic features of HTMl and its useful applications in web design in the business world.

Basic HTML is limited to only a few simple, yet important features. Formatting text should be the first step in using HTML. Formatting, such as using paragraphs, line breaks, and tables, create the structure of the website. Later, more challenging features can be attempted, and more complex variations can be used to design a more professional style in your websites. This includes such things as frames, layering, and anchor tags.

At first, HTML may look foreign to the average person, but learning HTML is not difficult. There are no complicated equations in formatting, and no outside knowledge is required. However, there are many outside sources to learn HTML. HTML help [http://www.htmlschool.org] is available from many useful websites, books, and people.

There is always room for improvement when designing websites. Practice is one of the most useful methods in learning HTML. Over time, your websites will be much better with more complex forms of HTML. With a lot of practice and persistence, your websites will become both attractive and profitable.

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How To Locate Work From Home Jobs

With the internet being the land of possibilities, the last thing one should worry about is how to locate work from home jobs. With that said, there are a few reasons to be worried in view of the amount of scams that flood the internet. However, with some good job probing and investigation you too can land on a goldmine.

As with any job exploration, the initial search itself will be a job. You have to be dedicated and fully committed to putting in the time to investigate to find employment. It is not going to be easy to discover a respectable opportunity that is worthwhile, but upon finding it, it will be all worth the time.

What you must appreciate is who you know continues to be just as significant, if not more vital, than what you know. For this cause, make it a aim of yours to expand contacts wherever and in all places. Leap into forums, post in blogs, talk to acquaintances and family members, and do not be shy on the streets. You never know who will be your “in” to the perfect job from home.

The next location to look when wondering how to find work from home jobs is occupation websites. There are a number of work at home opportunities and websites geared particularly for this. Always take advantage of the resume posting part as this offers you the possibility to showcase what it is you really have to offer.

Searching in job search engines using words like “work at home,” “freelance,” or whatever exact industry you are seeking to get into can help. As stated, there are millions of programs, systems and businesses to become a part of on the internet. The answer is scrolling through these listings and weaning out the undeserving.

For this cause, try to stay away from web search engines as these are far too broad and will more times than not create scams or overpriced start-up opportunities. By sticking with websites that focus on employment, you will experience a much better possibility of finding what you are looking for.

When thinking how to find work from home jobs, it is crucial you view it as if you are searching for any other job. Just because it’s on the web will not mean you can mosey on through and come across gold. You have to be equipped when applying. Have a resume and cover letter to send over if need be. Have work samples to give over to prospective employers. Research the business and be familiar with what they are looking for. The more prepared you are the better off you will be.

Most notably, you have to be enthusiastic to just go for it. There actually is not anything to lose. The last thing you want is to be nervous, ill-equipped and unconfident. By taking the time to discover a respectable opportunity and being ready to appropriately present yourself, you can and will discover that true work from home jobs do exist.

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Why Consider Jobs In Print?

With the rise and rise of the Internet and millions and millions of PC’s and laptops with home printers attached many people think that the printing industry, if not dead is certainly on the way out.

In fact nothing could be further from the truth. Walk down any high street, look around your home, visit a supermarket or department store or simply open your wallet or purse and take out a ten pound note. Printing is everywhere. Indeed, without a printing industry life as we know it would be almost impossible.

Print in one sense is the same as the Internet: it conveys information. The Internet does this electronically and print does the same thing in “hard” form. But both achieve the same end of transmitting information.

So jobs in print are not going to disappear any time soon. There will always be great career prospects for those seeking to get into print.

While it has not been unknown for printing firms to fail, it is little different from any other industry in that respect. Walk into any print factory and those great machines will be clattering away all day and every day. Indeed, sometimes there are only a few minutes of silence when the current run has finished until the new job is loaded and the noise resumes.

For those wishing to get into print there are several options. There are two colleges devoted just to the printing industry and many more, which offer graphic design and media courses as part of their curriculum.

Then many printing firms take on trainees or offer apprenticeships where you can “earn while you learn”. This used to be the prerogative of young people, but today there is no age limit. You can change careers at, say, 40 and still find a firm willing to train you, which indicates just how vibrant the modern printing industry, is.

There are also courses, which give you background knowledge, and training in key skills such as numeracy, literacy, problem solving and IT. Print Technical Certificates are courses, which offer training covering administration, estimating, printing and print finishing.

Print finishing is the part of the industry, which covers everything that can be done to produce a finished product after the ink has actually been put on to the paper. There are many firms that specialise solely in print finishing and offer specific training in print finishing jobs.

So print finishing may include laminating, mounting, image transfer, trimming, coating, creating point of sale display models, or, for instance a ten-foot high cardboard “Shrek” to display in the auditorium of the local cinema.

And printing doesn’t just involve putting ink on paper. Print goes on to aluminium cans, bottle tops, plastic bags, lipstick holders, cardboard, timber, and sheet metal – the list is endless. In fact, if you can think of it, it is pretty safe to say that someone somewhere has printed on it.

So to conclude, it is safe to say that if you are considering a career in the printing industry you will have a job for life. Not only that, but it is a job which can pay extremely well.

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