Thursday, June 19, 2003

Welcome to the New World Order

The American job market is particularly bad for white collar workers right about now. Things only look to get worse, as the white collar worker will soon be confronting the very same forces that chopped down blue collar labor in this country some 20 years ago: overseas competition and the wonders of the neoliberal order. According to Fortune,

In the next 15 years Forrester Research predicts that 3.3 million service jobs will move to countries like India, Russia, China, and the Philippines, with the IT sector leading the way. The financial services industry is expected to be another major job exporter, according to consulting firm A.T. Kearney, shifting more than 500,000 jobs, or 8% of its U.S. workforce, abroad by 2008. "The debate at major financial services companies today is no longer whether to relocate some business functions but rather which ones and where," concludes Kearney managing director Andrea Bierce. "Any function that does not require face-to-face contact is now perceived as a candidate for offshore relocation." That may be a slight exaggeration, but there's no doubt that U.S. financial services firms are making explosive moves overseas. GE Capital's International Services unit, which provides everything from risk calculation to IT services and actuarial analysis for GE worldwide, has grown from 634 employees to 17,000 during the past five years. More than half those workers are in India, and they're not being used for mindless data entry--in India every employee has a college degree, and more than 1,200 have MBAs.