Article

A shore thing: 'Offshore Tracker' goes up for the count

Ed Parry, News Editor

You can track pretty much anything online these days, from the Mac Davis CD you sent your Aunt Myrtle (via Amazon), to your uncle's flight to Newark International (via Atlanta). Now you can add American jobs to the list of "trackables."

Tech labor site TechsUnite.org has launched the "Offshore Tracker," a Web-based tool that keeps a running tab of the number of U.S. jobs "offshored," or outsourced to companies overseas.

As of this week, 160,785 U.S. jobs have been shipped offshore since April 1, 2001, according to the tracker. The net number of jobs lost is hanging just under 100,000. The site's organizers say these figures are probably on the conservative side.

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The site also breaks down the offshore numbers by company, listing about 100 corporate "culprits" from Accenture to Yahoo (so far there is no company listed that begins with the letter "z"), the number of jobs they've sent overseas, and the approximate date the offshoring happened. Other listed companies and their offshore figures include Convergys, GE, AT&T Wireless, Sprint, IBM, Veritas and Motorola.

Even Maytag is listed -- for sending jobs to Asia. Makes you wonder what the new, famously idle "Maytag Man" will look like. Odds are he won't resemble Gordon Jump.

Site visitors who've seen their employers send jobs overseas may also contribute the names and figures of their companies.

The tracker should certainly keep ticking for years to come. Analysts with Gartner Inc. have said that one quarter of U.S. IT jobs will be sent overseas within six years.

TechsUnite.org is a project of the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, and several partners, including the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers and Alliance@IBM. The site's goal is to connect IT people with information that's critical to their careers and to get them to address the issue of a possible IT workers union.

You can check out the tracker for yourself at http://www.techsunite.org/offshore/.


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