Monday, March 05, 2007

That Great Big Sucking Sound...

Daniel Drezner notes that the tech sector seems to have 'pulled through' the bout with outsourcing:

Five years after the dot-com bust ravaged the technology industry, erasing tens of thousands of jobs in Massachusetts, the "Help Wanted" signs have been pulled out of storage. State figures released Thursday show several high-tech job categories growing at more than triple the rate of overall employment over the past 13 months.

The job market hasn't returned to the feverish state of the 1990s, and fields such as telecommunications have been slower to recover. But multiple job offers are no longer rare for managers and consultants, software developers, researchers, website designers, marketing and sales professionals -- even newly minted college graduates -- knocking on the doors of resurgent high-tech companies. Especially hot are Internet businesses riding the new wave of digital commerce.

And, on the flip side, employers are struggling for the first time in years to hire technology talent. Many are paying signing bonuses ranging from $15,000 to $40,000, often structured as tuition forgiveness, to lure masters in business administration graduates from top schools.

The open international marketplace is far too nimble for countries and workers with competitive advantages to suffer more than cyclical downturns. Without speaking to the tech sector specifically (which in this case is doing just fine), the US economy continues to do well because the US is an attractive location for foreign direct investment, possesses highly educated and skilled workers, and enjoys advantages of low taxation, good infrastructure, transparent legal system, etc.

Critics will always be able to point to sectors and companies that suffer in an international market, but the economy as a whole will do well as long as these advantages are maintained.

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