Remember the great "offshoring" debate? It was all the rage a few years ago. Modern communications allowed white-collar work to be zapped around the world. We faced a terrifying future of hordes of well-educated and poorly paid Indians and Chinese stealing the jobs of middle-class engineers, accountants and software programmers in the United States and other wealthy nations. Merciless multinational companies would find the cheapest labor and to heck with all the lives ruined in the process.
What happened? Well, not much.... [an economist] examined a survey on "mass layoffs" from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to see how many stemmed from offshoring. The answer: 4 percent. That included both manufacturing and service jobs.
In 2004 and 2005, the BLS counted almost 1 million workers fired in layoffs of 50 or more. That isn't a huge number in a labor force of about 150 million. Moreover, most causes were domestic. The largest reason (accounting for about 25 percent) was "contract completion"—a public works job done, a movie finished. Other big categories included "downsizing" (16 percent) and the combination of bankruptcy and "financial difficulty" (10 percent). Only about 12 percent of layoffs stemmed from "movement of work"—a category that would include offshoring. But two thirds of those moves were domestic.[he] located a similar survey for Europe.
And here Newsweek's leftish international commentator Fareed Zakaria expresses his similar view.