DoL: Effect of Overseas Outsourcing Limited on Jobs

June 10, 2004 ( - Even though many Americans have raised a hue and cry over U.S. companies outsourcing jobs to less expensive markets, the government said Thursday that most outsourced positions never leave the country.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor said that of the 182,456 private sector nonfarm workers who were separated from their jobs for at least 31 days in the first quarter of 2004 (excluding seasonal and vacations), the separations of 16,021 workers in 119 layoffs were triggered when their jobs were outsourced, of that amount, 4,633 workers in 34 layoff events were shown the door when their jobs went overseas.

“In more than seven out of 10 cases, the work activities were reassigned to places elsewhere in the U.S.,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its report on mass layoffs for the January-to-March period.

When seasonal and vacation-related mass layoffs are taken out, the proportion of workers who lost their jobs due to overseas outsourcing rises to about 2.5 out of 100. Another 9,985 workers lost their jobs because the work moved to a different location within America, BLS said.

However, the report showed outsourcing had a huge impact on whether work sites were permanently shut-down or just temporarily closed. Fifty-one percent of mass layoffs caused by outsourcing were permanent closures of the work site, compared to just 17 percent of total layoffs, the government said.

More information on the BLS report is at .