Follow-Up Reading on Outsourcing

Per the last conversation that took place on this blog, here are some further sources of information freely available online. There are some books you can buy, but I’ve tried to provide sources anyone can access.

Some caveats:

  1. Companies do not like to share their information about jobs they outsource. One would think they’d be eager to do so since they claim it’s so awesome. But they don’t. Information that’s available typically comes from government agencies which ask companies to give them this information. This means we can’t have a perfect view of the consequences of outsourcing. We get only what companies tell us. This also doesn’t mean we’re blind, dumb and clueless. There are many other economic indicators that speak to the consequences of outsourcing.

  2. There are reports which have studied known cases of outsourcing and that information is pretty reliable and consistent: unemployment, lower wages and a decrease in economic activity follows outsourced jobs when they go offshore (countries like China, Russia, and India).

The reports will NOT say:

  • Outsourcing is evil.
  • Outsourcing is the end of the world.
  • Outsourcing is flawless and made of rainbows and sunshine.
  • Outsourcing is more beneficial than other options.

Instead, try to just understand that outsourcing has transformed our economies. Outsourcing’s primary objective, as practiced by companies, is lower the cost of labor. This inherently means decreasing wages. So any talk of raising the number of higher paying jobs by outsourcing lower wage jobs is inconsistent at best.

Otherwise, the reports show us one key and very important lesson: outsourcing always has devastating consequences for workers. If all you care about is companies, then you should also know it’s not actually making business better for them either. These are sources I found freely available in my own research. I’m sure you can find even more.

  • Federal and State Reports (U.S.): Several separate reports at this link. Includes some case studies, some reports on new approaches that could be more beneficial, and some general data showing how jobs move through an economy after outsourcing.
  • Outsourcing America: Very candid analysis of currently known statistics about outsourcing which speaks to it’s strengths, weaknesses, and abuses. I’m willing to loan out my digital copy on Amazon, just email me.

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