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Asia Snapping Up Our High-Tech Jobs, Too

Cost advantage isn't the only reason Asia is gaining on US
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2012 10:47 AM CST
Asia Snapping Up Our High-Tech Jobs, Too
Engineers work on an Airbus aircraft at their assembly plant in Tianjin in north eastern China on May 6, 2011.   (Getty Images/AFP)

Asia isn't just snapping up low-wage unskilled manufacturing jobs from the US; thanks to rapidly expanding engineering and research capabilities, the continent, and particularly China, have been able to lure away America's high-tech manufacturing jobs, too, according to a new report from the National Science Board. In the last decade the US lost 687,000 of these high-tech jobs—a sizable 28%, the Washington Post reports.

China and some other countries have poured vast funds and efforts into boosting engineering. These days, China spends just as much on research and development as the US, and awards more doctoral degrees to engineers than we do. The result? Twice as many researchers for US-based multinationals now live overseas, as compared to 2000. Still, there's some good news: All this has led to rapidly growing Chinese wages, so "China’s overwhelming manufacturing cost advantage over the US is shrinking fast," the report says. (More China stories.)

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