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While We Try to Bring Call Center Jobs Back, More IT Jobs are Heading Offshore

March 23, 2012

While the nation focuses on trying move more call center jobs back to U.S. shores, after years of outsourcing to places like India and the Philippines, it's paying somewhat less attention to other types of commonly outsourced jobs. Much to its peril, some believe, since these jobs are more skilled and higher paying than call center jobs.

Some 750,000 jobs in IT, finance, and other business services will be sent offshore from the U.S. and Western Europe to developing nations between now and 2016, according to a study released this week by the Hackett Group. Among the positions going overseas will be 270,000 IT jobs, InformationWeek is reporting today.

“In the U.S. and Europe, offshoring of business services and the rapid transformation of shared services into Global Business Services have had a significant negative impact on the jobs outlook for nearly a decade,” said Hackett Group chief research officer Michel Janssen, in a statement. “That trend is going to hit us hard in the short term.”

How hard? The researchers estimate that only about half of the 8.2 million services jobs that existed in the U.S. and Western Europe as of 2002 will exist in four years. A total of 2.3 million business services jobs, including 1.1 million IT jobs, will have gone offshore in by 2016.

In some cases, says Hackett Group, it's pointless to think these jobs will ever come back to U.S. shores. They may not even exist in the future at all, thanks to automation.

“After the offshoring spike driven by the Great Recession in 2009, the well is clearly beginning to dry up. A decade from now the landscape will have fundamentally changed, and the flow of business services jobs to India and other low-cost countries will have ceased,” said Janssen.

Edited by Jennifer Russell