While layoffs take place in the hundreds of thousands, at least one industry has some bright spots in terms of hiring. Thomas L. Cardella & Associates is adding 55 full-time jobs at its Keokuk call center to handle a new outsourcing contract.
In the recession of the early nineties, hundreds of thousands of new call center jobs helped the economy rebound more quickly. For better or for worse, about half the call center jobs were for outbound calling otherwise known as telemarketing.
While the Bush administration was responsible for effectively killing outbound telemarketing via FCC and FTC regulations, it seems it gets no credit for doing so.
In my estimation and after consulting with other industry experts I would say anywhere from 1-2.5 million outbound telemarketing jobs have vanished due to these regulations. Let's take the higher number for the sake of argument and assume half of them would now be performed outside this country.
This would mean there are potentially 1.25 million jobs which have been wiped out by do not call regulations. While many hate these calls it is worth mentioning that when you get a telephone offer from a timeshare company offering a virtually free 4-day vacation in Orlando in exchange for sitting through a 90-minute sales pitch, perspective tends to change.
Another way of looking at this is -- which is better -- letting the private sector employ people who make phone calls or spending your grandchildren's tax dollars to payoff the auto industry. You see, Detroit would naturally be a place where outbound contact center jobs would likely be mushrooming if this were 1992.