Major US corporations often don’t reveal the percentage of their workforce that’s overseas—even as some of these firms, including Apple and Pfizer, seek tax breaks that they say would allow them to create more jobs at home, the Washington Post reports. While they’re required by law to present such figures to the Commerce Department, officials have agreed to release the data in aggregate form, without revealing individual firms' breakdown of US and foreign workers. That means lawmakers are stuck battling unemployment without knowing which firms are US-job creators.
“It’s an important piece of information that the American people should have,” says an analyst. “Should you listen to the kind of advice these companies have about how to grow the economy when their record and their model indicates they’ve cut jobs? ... Or should we talk to people who actually do create jobs in the United States?” While some firms say they keep the numbers quiet in a spirit of competition, a manufacturing advocate believes otherwise. “Outsourcing has become a lightning rod, and the media coverage they’re likely to get is unfavorable,” he says. The combined figures show that between 2000 and 2009, multinationals cut 2.9 million US jobs and added 2.4 million abroad.