I just read this in the latest McKinsey Report on Offshoring:

While 11 percent (161 million jobs) of the 1.46 billion service jobs worldwide could be performed remotely, only a small fraction of employment that could potentially go offshore will do so. The number of jobs companies are actually expected to locate offshore in low-wage countries by 2008 will reach 4.1 million, or 1 percent of total services jobs in developed countries. Across sectors and occupations, potential and actual offshoring varies widely, as documented in eight in-depth industry cases (automotive, health care, insurance, IT services, packaged software, pharma, retail, and retail banking).

When I read data like this, and I have no reason to believe it´s false, what comes first to my mind is why is it that politicians make such a big deal about outsourcing. Offshoring has been around for 100 years and overall it´s helped developed countries to be ahead. I think we could make a collection of falsities that politicians exploit. In this museum of demagogery we could also include the Polish Plummer in France or the accusations of the protectionists in France that France has now no French Plummers and that France has been invaded by Eastern Europeans from accesion countries. This is another enormous lie. Europe grew from 15 to 25 countries, from around 350 million people to 440 million people and only 2 million people moved from Eastern Europe to Western Europe, even though the average income in the accesion countries is 60% below that of Western Europe. So not only do jobs don´t migrate so quickly to LDCs but even when LDCs join the European Union most people stay put. I wish the United States learned this and allow all Mexicans to immigrate freely to the United States and vice versa. I believe that the results would be similar to those of Europe. A very small percentage would. Many instead would go back knowing that they can migrate easily in and out of the country. Or if the United States is concerned about Mexico, why not at least try with Canada?

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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