U.S. office jobs are not moving overseas but to less-expensive cities within the country, says a new report, dispelling all the fears over offshoring and the disruptive internet technology.
It is true that the technology has continued to give firms the choice of hiring workers from abroad, but the U.S. is not losing its jobs, confirms Upwork Global Inc, the world’s biggest online marketplace for freelancing workers, in an extensive analysis data from various studies in recent months and years.
The white-collar jobs that were once predicted to be at risk of offshoring are increasingly being performed remotely by U.S. workers.
Moreover, the technology is “leading to more U.S. workers enjoying the greater freedom, flexibility, and shorter commutes of remote work.”
The biggest beneficiaries of internet technologies are the smaller American towns and cities that historically lacked economic opportunities, the report says.
Knowledge workers in these US cities are gaining traction in the global marketplace and getting jobs not just from Americans firms but also from companies overseas, Upwork said citing its own data.
The report has specifically proved wrong the widely covered 2007 study by Alan S. Blinder, a Princeton economist and former Clinton administration official, who estimated that nearly a quarter of U.S. jobs could be shipped overseas.
“While Blinder and others were right that technology will allow more work to be done remotely, they were wrong in focusing on offshoring,” says the Upwork report.
“By enabling more remote work opportunities, technological advancement provides greater freedom… to redistribute those (job) opportunities within the U.S.,” it added.
Over the past decade, many economists and research firms have tried to quantify the risk of offshoring. While someone estimated that around 10% of U.S. jobs would be sent overseas, a few others went to the extent of predicting that 40% office jobs would be lost.
Blinder estimated that between 22% and 29% of American jobs were at high risk of being offshored. Now, all such predictions have proved wrong.