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Study: Companies Consistent With Last Year in Offshoring Plans

Thirteen percent of U.S. employers plan to offshore work to third-party vendors outside the country in 2008, according to a study by the Wharton School of Business and The research, Jobs Beyond Borders- which surveyed nearly 10,000 hiring managers, human resources professionals, and other employees - finds that half those surveyed believe offshoring is necessary to compete in a global economy and that 15 percent believe more than one-fifth of their company's jobs will eventually be sent overseas. Among industries, technology services, telecommunications, insurance, manufacturing, engineering, banking and finance, oil, travel, utilities, and communications all reported plans for more offshoring in 2008. The positions most vulnerable to being offshored include computer programmers, software developers, and customer service representatives. "The study indicates that services that can be delivered electronically and don't require face-to-face interaction are now at higher risk of being displaced," says Lorin Hitt, associate professor of operations and information management at the Wharton School. The study also indicates that cost savings is the primary motivator for nearly two-thirds of those companies that offshore positions, with 27 percent citing availability of skills and 19 percent pointing to plans for expansion to a particular offshore market.

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