American job seekers may be experiencing a slow season for hiring right now, but they can take heart because at least foreign companies are staffing up on U.S. workers.
Indian companies have hit such a bottleneck in getting U.S. visas -- thanks to resistance in Washington at a time of high unemployment -- that they're not able to send enough employees to work in their U.S. offices, according to Bloomberg. As a result, companies like the Mumbai-based Tata and Bangalore-based MindTree are hiring more Americans to help out.
At the moment, 12 million Americans are out of work, and anything that puts more people on the payroll is difficult to regard as a bad thing.
What to do? Last year, the Commerce Department recommended the government do more to encourage foreign hiring in the U.S., evidently on the basis that if America isn't experiencing any particular economic dynamism, it might as well get some benefit from the countries that are. So far, so good -- the number of U.S. immigrants expected to receive investor visas this year is at a record high.
At the same time, there's no guarantee that the jobs created by foreign investment are any good. Overseas companies often hire in the U.S. because they don't have to pay American workers as much as they would in their home country, or provide anything in the way of a safety net. And any job gains from foreign companies hiring Americans are going to be offset by the ongoing trend of American companies doing much of their staff expansion overseas.