U.S. White Collar Jobs: Percentage Outsourced

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U.S. White Collar Jobs: Percentage Outsourced

Information technology jobs, real estate/facilities management jobs, customer service/contact center jobs, tax jobs, and finance jobs appear to be the job categories in the United States that are most vulnerable to outsourcing. These jobs are white-collar jobs.

Job Categories That Are Most Vulnerable to Outsourcing

  • Credible statistics that show the job categories in the country that are most vulnerable to outsourcing are surprisingly not readily available in the public domain.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics had a Mass Layoff Statistics program that tracked the movement of work and collected data on offshoring and outsourcing. The program's latest data on the movement of work, however, was released in 2013 and is too outdated to be used in this research. The data is also not segmented by industry or occupation.
  • Alan Blinder of Princeton University ranked major occupations by offshorability, but he did this way back in 2007. Based on his study, the major occupations in the country with the highest offshorability are computer programmers, telemarketers, computer systems analysts, billing and posting clerks and machine operators, bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks, and computer support specialists.
  • Among articles and reports that were recently released by government agencies, organizations, consulting firms, media outlets, and other publishers, only two sources offer credible and relevant information. These two sources are the surveys conducted in 2019 by marketing platform provider Clutch and professional services firm Deloitte.
  • Clutch polled 529 small businesses in the country and found that of the 195 small businesses that outsource business processes, 37% outsource accounting processes, 37% outsource information technology processes, 34% outsource digital marketing processes, 28% outsource software development processes, 24% outsource human resource processes, and 24% outsource customer support processes.
  • These results indicate that among small businesses in the country, the business processes that are most commonly outsourced are accounting, information technology services, digital marketing, software development, human resources, and customer support. Whether small businesses outsource their processes to local workers or overseas workers is not clear from Clutch's survey, however.
  • For its shared services report, Deloitte polled 379 companies, 42% of which were based in the United States, and found that as far as shared services are concerned, the five functions with the highest proportions of full-time equivalents (FTEs) that are outsourced are information technology, real estate/facilities management, customer service/contact center, tax, and finance. Shared services pertain to consolidated non-core support services that are delivered from centralize locations to reduce costs and improve service quality.

Information Technology Jobs

  • According to Clutch, of small businesses in the country, 37% outsource their information technology services, and 28% outsource their software development processes.
  • The percentage of information technology jobs in the country that are outsourced could not be located in the public domain nor reliably triangulated. Deloitte only shares that when an information technology function is consolidated or delivered via shared services, 16% of its FTEs are outsourced.
  • Given the definition of blue-collar jobs and white-collar jobs, it is safe to assume that outsourced information technology jobs are white-collar jobs.
  • The typical wage ranges that are typically impacted could not be located in the public domain as well, but based on Blinder's study, it is likely that the wage ranges that are typically impacted are the wage ranges of rank-and-file, supervisory, and first-line managerial employees.

Real Estate/Facilities Management Jobs

  • The percentage of real estate/facilities management jobs in the country that are outsourced could not be located in the public domain nor reliably triangulated. Deloitte only shares that when a real estate/facilities management function is consolidated or delivered via shared services, 11% of its FTEs are outsourced.
  • Given the definition of blue-collar jobs and white-collar jobs, it is safe to assume that outsourced real estate/facilities management jobs are white-collar jobs.
  • The typical wage ranges that are typically impacted could not be located in the public domain as well, but based on Blinder's study, it is likely that the wage ranges that are typically impacted are the wage ranges of rank-and-file, supervisory, and first-line managerial employees.

Customer Service/Contact Center Jobs

  • According to Clutch, 24% of small businesses in the country outsource customer support processes.
  • The percentage of customer service/contact center jobs in the country that are outsourced could not be located in the public domain nor reliably triangulated. Deloitte only shares that when a customer service/contact center function is consolidated or delivered via shared services, 10% of its FTEs are outsourced.
  • Given the definition of blue-collar jobs and white-collar jobs, it is safe to assume that outsourced customer service/contact center jobs are white-collar jobs.
  • The typical wage ranges that are typically impacted could not be located in the public domain as well, but based on Blinder's study, it is likely that the wage ranges that are typically impacted are the wage ranges of rank-and-file, supervisory, and first-line managerial employees.

Tax Jobs

  • According to Clutch, 37% of small businesses in the country outsource their accounting processes.
  • The percentage of tax jobs in the country that are outsourced could not be located in the public domain nor reliably triangulated. Deloitte only shares that when a tax function is consolidated or delivered via shared services, 9% of its FTEs are outsourced.
  • Given the definition of blue-collar jobs and white-collar jobs, it is safe to assume that outsourced tax jobs are white-collar jobs.
  • The typical wage ranges that are typically impacted could not be located in the public domain as well, but based on Blinder's study, it is likely that the wage ranges that are typically impacted are the wage ranges of rank-and-file, supervisory, and first-line managerial employees.

Finance Jobs

  • The percentage of finance jobs in the country that are outsourced could not be located in the public domain nor reliably triangulated. Deloitte only shares that when a finance function is consolidated or delivered via shared services, 8% of its FTEs are outsourced.
  • Given the definition of blue-collar jobs and white-collar jobs, it is safe to assume that outsourced finance jobs are white-collar jobs.
  • The typical wage ranges that are typically impacted could not be located in the public domain as well, but based on Blinder's study, it is likely that the wage ranges that are typically impacted are the wage ranges of rank-and-file, supervisory, and first-line managerial employees.

Research Strategy

To find the desired information, we consulted the websites of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Department of Labor first. We figured that if there were statistics on outsourced jobs, the data would come from one of these two agencies. We were unable to find any relevant data, though, so we proceeded with a press search and checked if government agencies, organizations, news outlets, consulting firms, and other reputable publishers have released any statistics on the subject. With this step, we were able to find Clutch's survey and Deloitte's survey. Given the limited information found in these surveys, we decided to look at older sources as well. Once we were able to identify the job categories that are most vulnerable to outsourcing, we researched these categories individually to find information on the wage ranges and percentage of jobs affected. Unfortunately, these details could not be located in the public domain.

Research proposal:

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