“The White-Collar Job Apocalypse That Didn’t Happen” in The New York Times

The article refutes the claim that the USA was in a long-term trend of losing jobs to overseas operations.

 More than a million low-skilled jobs like data entry did move offshore over the past 10 years. But these were mostly jobs located in high-salary cities on both coasts. Middle-skilled jobs, such as customer service and sales, did not diminish. In fact, they increased. White-collar jobs have also increased.

This would not be surprising if, before publishing their predictions, the academics had consulted with actual businesspeople involved in “exporting” jobs. My colleagues and I, for example, could have told them that you cannot maintain the same level of customer service by setting up operations in India and the Philippines. The article doesn’t say this. (It was in the NYT, after all.) But the main reason wasn’t the difference in time (as the article suggests) but the level of skill and the work ethic of these countries with cheap labor.

Toward the end of the article, the issue of automation and robotics is mentioned. This is certainly a serious threat to employment everywhere. My guess is that these technological advances will have the same effect as they’ve always had: making many jobs obsolete while creating many more.