The unfortunate truth

Ok so I’m catching up on the first two weeks of IEA class and have finally hit the books. Came across this one paragraph which I thought was really interesting, spurring the question “Can your job be outsourced or off-shored?” Food for thought.

(partially summarized) Boeing uses aeronautics specialists in Russia to design luggage bins and wing parts for its jetliners. These specialists are paid $650 per month (vs $6,000 for an American specialist). Similarly, engineers in China and India earning $1,000 a month, develop chips for TI and Intel (vs $7,000 for an American engineer). However, companies are still likely to keep crucial R&D and the bulk of office operations close to home. And there still exist jobs that cannot go anywhere because they require face-to-face contact with customers. Economists note that the vast majority of jobs in the US consist of services such as retail, restaurants and hotels, personal care services, and the like. These services are necessarily produced and consumed locally, and thus cannot be sent off-shore.

So, the very unfortunate truth – your job probably can be done by someone else in India and China. Are you outsource-able, or off-shore-able?


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