Most Workers Say Offshoring Hurts the US

August 5, 2004 ( - Workers in the US are worried about a negative impact on the economy due to offshoring, but business say the practice is paying dividends.

Eighty-five percent of US workers believe offshoring has a negative impact on the US economy, but o nly 8% of all respondents arestrongly concerned that their own job is at risk, while 22% areconcerned to some or a small extent and 69% are not at allconcerned. Workers in professional or technical roles feel at slightly greater risk – 13% were greatly concerned – compared with those in supervisory or hourly job functions – 7% were greatly concerned – according to Watson Wyatt’s second survey in the WorkUSAR series.

“Although American workers, in general, are very concerned about the impact of offshoring on the economy, they apparently have little concern offshoring will affect them personally,” said Bruce Pfau, national practice director for organization effectiveness at Watson Wyatt. “Nevertheless, the degree of this confidence seems to vary somewhat by employee job role.”

Businesses see a positive impact due to offshoring jobs. Sixty-five percent of the 33 multinational organizations polled by Watson Wyatt in a separate poll say thepractice is effective in lowering production costs and 61%say it improves operational efficiency. However, regarding offshoring’simpact on marketplace image, customer satisfaction and HR managementcosts, most respondents report a neutral effect or that it is tooearly to tell.