Three Positive Things to Reflect On
November 29, 2019
Thanksgiving is around the corner! Tune in to this week's TrendsTalk for insights on what we should be thankful for in the US economy.
Transcript by Rev
Hi, this is Alan Beaulieu, President of ITR Economics. I'm glad to talk to you this day after Thanksgiving. In that vein, I think there are three things I'd like to share with you that maybe we should just stop and reflect on, some things that we don't hear a lot about in the news. It's easy to concentrate on the things that aren't going so well, perhaps, or we can get bogged down in the near term, but I want to talk some things that are maybe a little longer-term that put things in perspective.
The first one is employment in the United States. In the private sector, we have 128.485 million people working. That is a record high. That's not true in every country, and it's not true in every economic environment and throughout history. This country there are jobs and, and the government is employing 22 and a half million people, which is not a record high, which may be another reason to be excited and to celebrate. Job openings in this country in the private sector alone, are at 6.6 million jobs, down just a smidge from the May 2019 record high. We have all these people working and we have all these job openings, and to me that speaks of a healthy economy. It speaks of a growing, thriving environment, and I certainly take that as good news.
I also wanted to share with you point number two is our GDP per capital. GDP, it's not the end all be all, but it is a useful tool for cross country comparisons of average living standards and economic well being. That's all. No more than that, no less than that. It does not take into consideration a lot of things people care about, but it is a good way to measure one country to another on those living standards and economic well being.
In the United States, our GDP per capital is $62,600. Now the source of this is World Bank, and the data is through 2018. We're at $62,600. Now, I don't know what you think of for other major economies in the world, but if somebody were to ask me, I would think, well, Germany, Germany is a very powerful economy. It's the fourth largest in the world. Their GDP per capital is $48,200 when converted to the US dollars. Nominal dollars. Canada, our good friends to the north, and very important to our economy, they're at $46,200. That's good, but do you remember the United States is at 62.6. Let's put things in perspective.
Then Mexico, our good friends to the South. Mexico, the GDP per capital, there is 9.698 I carry that to three decimal points on purpose thousand dollars because China is at 9.770, thousand dollars. So while China is at let's round $9,800, United States is at that $62,600, I guess my question to you is where would you rather live?
And then we'll end with this thought, foreign direct investment in the United States is at 343.5 billion dollars? I know that sounds like just a data point, but the point is that it's going up, and this is a way of measuring people investing in business in the United States from offshore, they're buying at least a 10% interest in the company.
They're doing a joint venture or they're buying a company or they're moving to the United States, but the amount of investment is going up in this country and that certainly I think is a reason to celebrate. The world is saying, with their dollars, that the United States is the place to be. China, which is often on people's minds, and the source for this, by the way, is the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, I want to make sure you know the source of this, is that, in US dollars, their January through October foreign direct investment is 110.8 billion dollars.
Now, we don't have it through October in this country. The most I can do is through June, but the January through June is 143.3 billion. So it was higher than that of China. So again, the world is saying, where should I put my money? Through June, we're already higher than China through October. Let's just contemplate on that. The world is saying, "Hey, the United States is a place to invest." We have a great standard of living, and at the same time, there are lots of jobs out there for anybody that is skilled, that wants one, and has the qualifications needed in today's environment. 6.6 million. Yeah, this is a good place. Have a good day, everyone. Thank you.