Tuesday, February 17, 2004


I've written at least a couple of times on the issue of international outsourcing -- a company's hiring of employees (or contract employees) outside of its home country.

What I neglected to point out is that river flows both ways. My Honda was built in Ohio. My friend's Mercedes was built in Alabama and my ex-boss's BMW was built in South Carolina. That's called insourcing.

Auto manufacturers figured out a long time ago that, so long as trainable labor is available and there are no artificial restrictions, it's usually best to built cars close to where your customers live. US manufacturers have done this for decades.

But that doesn't account for a lot of jobs, does it?

Wrongo. Turns out that about 10 million jobs have been sent overseas, while 6.5 million Americans have been hired by foreign-owned employers here in the US. Read this for a good "other story."

And, surprise, it seems that insourced manufacturing jobs have exceeded the number of outsourced manufacturing jobs.

So why is there a lot of screaming about shipping jobs overseas? (Subliminal hint: politics.) Gee, do you think it might be due to the fact that many of the insourced jobs have been in the South, where the labor unions don't have "user-friendly" laws?


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