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Jobs move overseas in search of lower costs

By December 1, 2003current affairs

Robert Scoble’s post on migration of jobs to China is worth reading. Gist: Werner Ladders used to sell $600 million worth of ladders. Then they lost their best customer (Home Depot) to a ladder manufacturer in China. Home Depot was buying $150 million per year.

Philip Greenspun has a similar post about job migration to India.

Friends, in case you haven’t noticed, we are moving towards a global economy. Perhaps not as quickly as some would like, and not as slowly as others would like. But we are moving in that direction, relentlessly. So ask yourself: is my job function something that can be automated? And, remember, very few people see the truth when they consider this question.


P.S. If you appreciate these kinds of observations, you might want to read this as well.

4 Comments

  • JP says:

    Thanks for the link to MyShingle.com. As brand new JD in a Tax LLMprogram currently, the lack of available jobs and positions hasgenerated a lot of discussion among students about the situation.

    Perhaps it is only larger clients that will go to off-shore lawyers -will the smaller clients still want a “face to face” with a person here?

  • shel israel says:

    I’ve also recently blogged on this topic https://seems2shel.typepad.com/itseemstome/2003/11/tech_support_mi.html. My essential point being that if technology wants global customers, it must form global companies. That means the jobs will leave the U.S., just as they have done in textile and auto manufacture. The biggest danger is that this inevitable trend will cost deep hostility which will help nothing.

  • Tim says:

    Another related question: are you willing to accept whatever wage becomes the equilibrium point in the global economy for your particular functions? For example- a machinist might make $35/hour in the US and $35/week in some other country. Sooner or later those in the other country will look for wage increases, but they won’t go anywhere near the US salary. As their wages go up, US wages come down, and sooner or later all machinists in the world make (just guessing) $35/day. There is then equilibrium in the global economy for machinists. Getting to that point will be extremely distruptive all around, but it probably IS coming.

    I wonder, if US workers offered to take large wage concessions (say, to $17.50 or $8.75 per hour in the above example) if it would have worked to slow down the exportation of jobs.

  • JP says:

    And does this include lawyers? Is the only barrier to an Indian firm thebar in each state?

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