The US has become more cost competitive than ever before and has therefore moved up on the list of the most cost-efficient places in the world. The plunging dollar has made the US a cheaper place to do business than France, Britain, the Netherlands, and Italy.
The value of the Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, British pound, and other currencies have increased in double digits compared to the dollar, but Mexico is still the cheapest place to do business. The cheapest places in the US are Atlanta, Tampa, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
So if more businesses keep their factories in the US, will there be enough workers to fill their needs? AT&T has found that so far, the answer is no. The company has promised to bring 5,000 jobs from India back to the States but hasn't been able to find enough skilled workers to fill the positions. AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said he's especially alarmed by high school dropout rates as high as 50 percent in some areas. He explained, "We're able to do new product engineering in Bangalore as easily as we're able to do it in Austin, Texas. I know you don't like hearing that, but that's the way it is." His solution? A stronger US focus on education and keeping jobs — no small feat.