Do Americans Need to Worry About Losing Their Job?
Americans have become a fearful people in the last few years. Unemployment is high, and outsourcing is an industry that continues to grow. If your job is not automized in the next six months, it could be shipped to India, China, or the Philippines.
What Americans need to realize is that “American” jobs have been shipped overseas since the 80’s and if there were a finite number of jobs in the world, our job loss would leave 80% of us unemployed by now. This is simply not the case. With all of the new labor saving technology and outsourcing, Americans are busier now than we ever have been. So, why the high amount of jobless individuals?
Many news articles blame unemployement on internal domestic issues. However, if you take a closer look, the factors might be more specific than you think. If a company is forced to offer benefits to a new employee, the cost of hiring someone with unknown potential suddenly gets very expensive. If there are legal issues or risks involved in firing someone, then companies might be skeptical about hiring in-house employees. Many unemployed individuals have personality issues that make it hard for them to work with others, which is why American companies often find it easier to outsource work overseas. Many of the unemployed in America have skills which are no longer marketable in the current economy, and those individuals need to learn some new skills that meet the current technological needs (which keep changing every two years). Some workers are so slow, that its not cost effective to pay the overhead for renting the square feet they occupy plus the management costs for managing them. The cost of hiring someone and processing payroll for them in the U.S. is sky high. If a job can be outsourced, it doesn’t make sense to have it done here.
In the long run, if we keep losing jobs, the labor rate will go down. We have already seen that salaries for programmers have come down a bit in many cases due to stiff competition from India. Minimum wage has not gone up that much in the United States in the last decade and has not kept up with inflation, making our standard of living lower. If Americans would work for less, and work a little faster (with a shorter lunch break) then outsourcing wouldn’t be such an attractive option in the first place.
The fact is that Americans who are capable of doing work that is marketable in today’s economy are really busy. They don’t have time to return phone calls and will keep you waiting a long time to get work done. Additionally, people in America rarely give me the impression that they are willing to fight for my business. If you want work done in a hurry, you have no choice but to outsource because Americans simply don’t have time to help you on short notice.
As time rolls on, India has hit some roadblocks to its expansion of its outsourcing empire. Labor costs are sky high, attrition rates are out of control, workspaces are really expensive, overpriced, and in short supply, and roads are so crammed, that companies can not realistically relocate to the outskirts of their metro unless their workers live nearby. India’s rates for outsourcing will become so expensive that outsourcing will eventually slow down, or so I think. Additionally, a crisis with Pakistan is inevitable and could shut the whole country down if it got out of hand.
America is the land of infinite road capacity, large buildings with elbow room for employees, political stability. If America decides to lower its rates, it can easily reduce outsourcing in a flash. If America decides to find a way to employ its unemployed, or to make incentives to give unemployed individuals even a part time job, our jobless rate would reduce overnight with or without outsourcing or automation.
Additionally in the future, as India and China get richer, they will need more American soap, cars, beef, and other commonly exported products which means more jobs for Americans! Outsourcing karma comes back to you. What you lose, you gain back in another form in no time at all!
Americans need to fear the internal domestic inflexibilities that cause unemployment and not outsourcing.