As international outsourcing claims more jobs, two things happen - unemployment in developed nations increases and companies lower their costs. As sad as this is for now unemployed workers, it is a byproduct of automation - the internet and IP communications. Moreover it accelerates during recessions. In order for the trend to cease, the standard of living has to increase in developing nations to a point where it doesn't make sense to move jobs away from developed countries.
It seems evident that one of the results of the economic crisis of this past year is deflation/margin compression which while generally bad for the economy actually helps reduce the lure of developed nations as a place to hire.
In an article in the Asian Pacific Post, TMC Senior Contributing Editor Brendan Read who among other things is a major part of TMC's Customer Interaction Solutions magazine was quoted. Here is an excerpt:
Brendan B. Read writes on TMCnet that the reasons for moving call centres to the Philippines are all too familiar: cost cutting, reluctance to invest in new technologies, and, unsaid but all-too-real: a challenging economy and the popularity of web self-service.
"The moves are also the latest retrenchments of contact centers in Canada, due to and accelerated by a relatively strong Canadian dollar, pushed by commodity chiefly oil price rises, that has made it less competitive as a location," he explained.
What does scare me about this trend is that the current US administration hasn't mentioned how technology has changed the global landscape on hiring and competition. It seems discussing this trend and how to solve it should be at the top of the list of priorities. The Bush administration didn't mention it either but during the first seven years of this decade while jobs were being lost to other countries, housing and finance employment related to a housing/debt bubble took their place.
Now however we are left with increasing unemployment and I fear developed countries will not see rapid job creation until the global standard of living reaches approximate equilibrium.
Having said that, the Obama administration needs to address these challenges head-on as the need for a President to ensure he provides an environment where citizens can find jobs is probably the most important priority after ensuring public safety. Sure, fixing health insurance is great but I just have trouble understanding how it is a more important priority than making sure we reduce unemployment in the US.
I guess what I am wondering about specifically is where is the employment tax credit which was discussed during the campaign? Moreover, why are all people out of work not forced to take career training - to better themselves in some way (every way)? I can understand if a person can document that they are on five interviews a day - perhaps they have no time to be trained but for all other able-bodied citizens receiving any government assistance, it is obvious they need training - in computers, foreign languages, science, selling on eBay, whatever will help them generate income.
I realize these topics are beyond my usual scope but it is the technology discussed in TMC publications, my blog and TMCnet which has enabled a massive transformation in the way the world employs people and I hope the thoughts outlined above are implemented so we can ensure that developed nations have the most employable and best-trained workforce possible.
I truly beleive it is irresponsible to discuss technology without discussing solutions to the problems these advancements can create for society.
I should end this post by expressing dismay that every US administration doles out taxpayer dollars to so many who are underprivileged without pushing those people to be as employable as possible. After all, if you give a person a fish they eat for a day, teach them to fish and they eat for a lifetime.