(April 2013) The monetary cost of dementia in the United States ranges from $157bn to $215bn annually, making the disease more costly to the nation than either heart disease or cancer. In coming years, it will 'swamp' the US healthcare system according to one expert.
(April 2013) The shale gas revolution and the recovery of some jobs lost during the recession has triggered hopes of a resurgence in US manufacturing. However, not everyone is convinced. A report last month presented a scenario of about 3.7m new jobs being created in manufacturing with direct employment rising to a level of over 16.3m jobs, compared to 12.3m in 2012 and about 17.6m in 1998. In 2025, the US could have significantly more good paying manufacturing jobs, adding to GDP (gross domestic product) growth, and helping to create the first surplus in the nation’s goods and services balance of trade since 1975.
(March 2013) The rate of patenting in the United States has been increasing in recent decades and stands at historically high levels. Growth in patent applications slowed after the IT bubble and the Great Recession, but the rate of patenting by US inventors is at its highest point since the Industrial Revolution. Moreover, patents are of objectively higher value now than in the recent past and more evenly dispersed among owners than in previous decades. Still, the United States ranks just ninth in patents per capita using appropriate international metrics, as global competition has increased. Besides quality of patents, the United States benefits from filings from foreign inventors resident in the country.
(March 2013) Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the US rose to a record $3.1tn in 2012. It includes items such as investment in companies and individuals buying US firms and real estate.
(March 2013) In recent months Apple has been the most prominent big US company to come under pressure about its $137bn cash hoard of which 70% is technically 'overseas.' While all the cash may be held in US dollar accounts, there are restrictions on its use to avoid having to pay the headline US corporate tax rate of 35% -- the average effective rate or actual rate paid is about 20% after various deductions. Companies are under pressure to either increase dividends, share buy backs or put the cash to more productive use.
(March 2013) Free trade agreements and the surge in American foreign direct investment in emerging market countries overseas have stirred fears in the United States about job losses and other ill economic effects.
(March 2013) The US added 236,000 workers to payrolls in February 2013 -- the 29th straight month of job gains. Labour force participation fell partly due to ageing of the population and public payrolls fell by 10,000 in February, the fifth straight month of declines. The total number of government jobs in the US - - at about 21.8m at the local, state and federal level - - is now the lowest since October 2005.
(March 2013) We reported last month that the United States remains the leading host country for international students in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields, and the global competition for talent has intensified. A record number of STEM graduates - - both US residents and foreign nationals - - are entering the US labour market, and there is a renewed focus on creating additional immigration pathways for foreign professional workers in STEM fields. However, it is estimated that two-thirds of US workers with STEM degrees, are employed in non-STEM occupations even though the US Department of Commerce has said that “growth in STEM jobs was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs” over the past 10 years. Despite the surplus of STEM graduates, high tech companies are lobbying for an expansion of the visas that should be available for immigrants with STEM qualifications. It is also argued that the so-called Startup Visa, which is targeted at entrepreneurs who would start businesses in the US, has the potential to add, conservatively, between 500,000 and 1.6m new jobs over the next 10 years.
(March 2013) US natural gas production will accelerate over the next three decades, new research indicates, providing the strongest evidence yet that the energy boom remaking America will last for a generation.
(February 2013) Wall Street cash bonuses for 2012 are forecast to rise by 8% to $20bn during this year’s bonus season.