Wednesday, April 18, 2012


IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau



Summary Estimates for Multinational Companies:

Employment, Sales, and Capital Expenditures for 2010 [18 April 2012]


[full-text, 8 pages]



The following are 2010 advanced and 2009 revised summary estimates of the employment, capital spending, and sales activity of U.S. multinational companies (comprising both their U.S. and foreign operations) and the corresponding activity of foreign multinational companies in the United States.  Preliminary 2010 and revised 2009 statistics based on more complete source data and including country and industry detail will be released later this year.1

U.S. multinational companies: U.S. and foreign operations

Worldwide employment by U.S. multinational companies (MNCs) increased 0.5 percent in 2010, to 34.0 million workers, with increases in both the United States and abroad.  Employment in the United States by U.S. parent companies increased 0.1 percent, to 23.0 million workers, which contrasted with a 0.6 percent decrease in total private-industry employment in the United States.  The employment by U.S. parents accounted for roughly one-fifth of total U.S. employment in private industries.  Abroad, employment by the majority-owned foreign affiliates of U.S. MNCs increased 1.5 percent, to 11.0 million workers.

Worldwide capital expenditures by U.S. MNCs increased 3.9 percent in 2010, to $621 billion.  Capital expenditures in the United States by U.S. parent companies increased 3.3 percent, to $447 billion.  Capital expenditures abroad by their majority- owned foreign affiliates increased 5.5 percent, to $173 billion.

Sales by U.S. parent companies increased 6.8 percent in 2010, to $9,843 billion. Sales by their majority-owned foreign affiliates increased 8.6 percent, to $5,197 billion.2

Employment in the United States by U.S. parent companies accounted for 68 percent of the worldwide employment of U.S. MNCs in 2010, a share that was unchanged from 2009.  The U.S.-parent share of the worldwide capital expenditures of U.S. MNCs in 2010 was 72 percent, down from 73 percent in 2009.

Changes in the share of MNC activity at the U.S. parent do not necessarily indicate production shifting between U.S. parents and their foreign affiliates.  Other factors that may be associated with changes in the share include different rates of economic growth in the Unites States and in specific markets where investment is occurring abroad, or the creation of new market opportunities abroad that cannot be served by exports from the United States.  These issues are discussed in annual articles on U.S. MNC operations in the Survey of Current Business.3

Foreign multinational companies: U.S. operations

Employment in the United States by majority-owned U.S. affiliates of foreign MNCs decreased 1.0 percent in 2010, to 5.2 million workers, a rate of decrease slightly faster than the rate of decrease of total U.S. private industry employment in 2010.  U.S. affiliates accounted for 4.7 percent of U.S. private industry employment in 2010, the same share as in 2009.

Capital expenditures by U.S. affiliates fell 1.7 percent, to $147 billion. Sales by U.S. affiliates rose 5.0 percent, to $3,063 billion. Changes in the measures of activity of majority-owned U.S. affiliates of foreign companies may reflect a variety of factors, including changes in the operations of continuing affiliates as well as entries to and exits from the universe of majority-owned U.S. affiliates.  For example, the decline in employment by U.S. affiliates in 2010 partly reflected changes in ownership that resulted from a number of U.S. affiliates selling off some of their domestic subsidiaries.

1 2009 preliminary statistics with country and industry detail are available on BEA’s Web site.
2 An MNC-wide total for sales is not provided because an MNC-wide total for sales would contain duplication resulting from transactions among and within MNCs.
3 See “Operations of U.S. Multinational Companies in the United States and Abroad: Preliminary Results from the 2009 Benchmark Survey” in the November 2011 issue of the Survey of Current Business. Additional discussion of data and analytical considerations may be found in “A Note on Patterns of Production and Employment by U.S. Multinational Companies,” in the March 2004 issue of the Survey of Current Business.


The MNC statistics for 2009 presented in this release supersede preliminary statistics that were released in the second half of 2011.  For U.S. parent companies, employment was revised down 0.7 percent, capital expenditures were revised up 5.7 percent, and sales were revised up 0.2 percent.  For majority-owned foreign affiliates, employment was revised up 0.1 percent, capital expenditures were revised down 3.3 percent, and sales were revised down 1.5 percent. For majority-owned U.S. affiliates of foreign MNCs, employment was revised up 0.2 percent, capital expenditures were revised down 2.7 percent, and sales were revised up less than 0.1 percent.

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AND MORE…including TABLES….



This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.


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