La gran máquina de crear empleos

Hasta el tercer trimestre de este año, la duda número uno que enfrentaba la economía de EEUU se refería al carácter pírrico de su recuperación "sin empleos". Luego, durante septiembre y octubre, el empleo neto creció en 290.000, mucho más de lo que predecían la mayoría de los pronósticos. Pero si bien se crearon más de 300.000 mil trabajos en el sector de servicios, se perdieron más de 50.000 en el sector manufacturero. Esto es más de lo que que se puede explicar en virtud del cambio de largo plazo de la economía desde la industria hacia los servicios.

Al mismo tiempo, el fuerte aumento de la productividad laboral en la industria (7,2% en el tercer trimestre) indica que sigue habiendo un gran volumen de capacidad sobrante en este sector. De modo que no cabe esperar buenas noticias en el empleo de EEUU a partir de los trabajos industriales. En lugar de ello, es la mayor flexibilidad de los servicios lo que ha permitido retomar el crecimiento del empleo.

Abundan las evidencias. Por ejemplo, Kohl's, una gran tienda por departamentos, ha abierto 48 nuevos locales en octubre, contratando a cerca de 140 personas en cada uno. Stop & Shop, una cadena de supermercados, ha vuelto a introducir el servicio de transporte de las mercaderías desde los cajeros al automóvil del cliente (algo que se había eliminado hace décadas) y ha ampliado las horas de funcionamiento en muchas de sus tiendas.

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