(NEW YORK) — As the country awaits the monthly jobs report for August to assess the state of the economy, it’s a good opportunity to look at the other side of the employment coin: The foreign-based U.S. employers who employ about five million Americans.
Bill Krueger, vice chairman of Nissan Americas, said the company is less interested in the election’s outcome and more interested in whether the U.S. will encourage engineering and manufacturing training for potential workers.
Nissan, based in Japan, employs 17,000 people in the U.S. at its three U.S. sites. The company is adding about 2,200 manufacturing jobs in the U.S., including 1,000 jobs in the fourth quarter to its Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Mississippi.
Nancy McLernon, CEO of the Organization for International Investment, which represents about 200 U.S. subsidiaries of global companies, said the members of her organization are studying the statements of the presidential candidates for signs they are “embracing the global economy.”
“Globally engaged companies want to be in globally engaged countries,” said McLernon. “The extent to which lawmakers understand global marketplace is helpful. Isolationist views are not.”
Business has been good for automakers like Nissan in the U.S. The automaker’s August sales rose 7.6 percent from a year ago, the company reported on Tuesday.
But finding skilled workers has been a trouble spot for the company.
“If there’s a weak point right now, it’s the availability of skilled maintenance workers and engineers,” Krueger said.
Manufacturing jobs are slowly making a comeback after the long economic downturn that began with the financial crisis in December 2007. In July, the U.S. economy added 25,000 manufacturing jobs.
Economists are expecting an addition of 125,000 total nonfarm jobs in August, which would leave the unemployment rate unchanged at 8.3 percent.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jethro Mullen Ivana Kottasova and Patrick Gillespie, CNN
Jennifer Graham, Deseret News