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To large IT or non-IT corporations, the number, 10%, appears to be way too conservative. For instance, recent reports showed that 1/3 of Microsoft's 5000 new jobs this year would be going to foreign countries. Paul [ July 29, 2003: Message edited by: Paul Pullman ]
I would wager money that one year from now, less then 10% of all US IT jobs will be outsourced. (Don't bother offering money on the other side. Practically speaking it's too much of a hassle to actually do; defining "10% of all US IT jobs" is way to difficult. Nonetheless, feel free to pull up this posting a year from now and we'll see how well my prediction holds.) --Mark
No, Oracle isn't moving 6000 jobs to India. They had 3000 there and they'll be adding 3000 in Hyderabad and Bangalore. I finally broke down and have been keeping a log of hiring announcements all over the world. In the last 5 months or so, only Microsoft has announced plans to do any mass hiring in the US (expected to be roughly 2000 of the recently-announced 5000). If you want to be REAL cynical, you might note that about 2 weeks before that, the Seattle chapter of the CWA (union) was making a big stink about MS exporting around 800 support jobs, so announcing a US component of the 5000 could have been public relations. Or not. Everything is subject to spin. When they say "10% of IT jobs, for example, that could mean things like "100% of the computer operators and LAN techs stay put, 40% of the software development moves, and 80% of the help desk bails." Then again, if you do BPO, EVERYTHING could move except a few monkeys to maintain the local desktop computers, LAN wiring, and Internet connections. And BPO is actually the most serious threat, since that also displaces many HR functions, accounting and billing and other back-office work. Which means that potentially, not only could the IT labor market be facing decimation (reduction by 1/10th), but a lot of other white-collar jobs as well. Since BPO only really began to roll this year, few estimates of the potential damage have been made as of yet. You might be surprised what kinds of work can be done by remote control. For some years now, for example, the US Postal Service has outsourced mail routing. Mechanical workstations fitted with cameras transmit images of letters which lack sufficient routing info (most notably a good OCR-able address and/or bar code). Workers located 4 states away look at the pictures on monitors and key in the routing info, which is then affixed to the envelope and the letter is then dumped back into the automated routing system. Much has also been made of the fact that a lot of X-Ray photos are being read by workers in India and the Phillipines after being facsimile-transmitted from US mediacal facilities. Although these techs are cheaper, they're also helping compensate for a shortage of qualified techs in the U.S. The really dire threat to Western economies isn't that the less-developed countries offer labor that's cheaper. It's the fact that their labor is SO MUCH cheaper. If an Indian worker cost 85% of what a US worker did, only the largest US companies would find it worth the trouble and expense to reap the savings in labor arbitrage. However, when you're taking 10-12% US cost, it's bloody Christmas! At those kinds of savings, companies are willing to do all sorts of insane things in the hopes they'll hit the jackpot. I wonder what people in the electronics industry would have said in the '70s if someone had told them that 10% of their jobs could be shipped overseas? For all intents and purposes, it's closer to 100% these days.
Some people, when well-known sources tell them that fire will burn them, don't put their hands in the fire.
Some people, being skeptical, will put their hands in the fire, get burned, and learn not to put their hands in the fire.
And some people, believing that they know better than well-known sources, will claim it's a lie, put their hands in the fire, and continue to scream it's a lie even as their hands burn down to charred stumps.
While outsourcing is not helping the IT job market, I can't help but think of similar predictions. 2+ years ago, it was "Demand for IT workers will exceed supply for at least 5 years". Before then (80's) , it was "Japan is taking all our jobs, how will we survive?" I think most of these articles are self-servicing for their publishers, to boost sales. Take them with large grain of salt. Todd Killingsworth
posted 17 years ago
I watched the News Hour with Jim Leher aired yesterday evening (July 29). The un-official unemployment rate in the U.S. is 12% now based on the analyses of some research firm/institute (do not remember the name of this research agency and there is no point challenging me on the figure. For details, go ahead get the source of information and the full transcript from the News Hour directly). The official unemployment rate excludes a large pool of discouraged workers and people under miscellaneous classifications/categories. The definition of discouraged workers is those who did not looking for work in the last 4 week. My question is how the Department of Labor monitors who are seeking for work/who are not at a certain point of time.
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Building a Better World in your Backyard by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop