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In January, the White House appointed Jeff Immelt (pictured), the CEO of GE, as its "jobs czar," charged with finding solutions to America's unemployment crisis. Three months later, despite some positive signs, employment rates have barely budged, Americans are more pessimistic about the economy than they've been in a while--and Immelt is under fire amid news that GE reportedly paid no taxes this year.
And some new jobs data may not help things. The Wall Street Journal reports (sub. req.) that during the last decade U.S. multinationals reduced their domestic workforce by 2.9 million, according to Commerce Department figures. During the same period, those same companies increased their overseas workforce by 2.4 million. (Here's a chart that nicely lays it out.) As recently as the 1990s, things were different: Multinationals were adding jobs both domestically and overseas.
Worse, Immelt's own company may be a case study for the shift. As we've reported, the number of workers employed by GE in the United States fell from around 162,000 in 2000 to 134,000 in 2009.