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Rediff.com  » Business » BPO very unpopular with Americans

BPO very unpopular with Americans

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April 08, 2004 13:00 IST

Outsourcing of US jobs to countries including India is very unpopular with Americans, but most agree that protecting unskilled and semi-skilled jobs is not good for economy, according a survey released on Wednesday.

An overwhelming number of Americans think that using India's information technology staff and call centre workers to replace American staff was a 'bad idea.'

The online survey conducted by Harris Interactive, shows that most people recognise that protecting unskilled or semi-skilled jobs is not the key to a successful economy.

A 71-to-13 per cent majority agrees that 'the long-term success of the US economy requires that we have a highly educated workforce who do highly skilled jobs here which cannot easily be done abroad.'

A large number of Americans also think that using Chinese and Mexican workers to manufacture items earlier produced in the United States was a bad idea.

A 49-to-38 per cent plurality agrees that if companies get work done less expensively abroad, that reduces their cost which means consumers pay lower prices.

A similar 45-to-35 per cent also agrees that "if we prevent American companies from getting work done wherever it is least expensive, that makes it harder for them to compete with foreign companies."

But Democrats would need to work hard to cash on this feeling among people in the US coming elections as 18 per cent say neither has a good policy on the issue and another 26 per cent were 'not sure.'

Meanwhile, only 16 per cent Americans agree with President George W Bush's economic advisor's comment that it is 'good for the US economy' when companies use less expensive foreign workers to do work previously done in the United States. A majority of 68 per cent disagreed with the statement.

A majority of both Republicans and Democrats agree on this, but 25 per cent Republicans -- against only 8 per cent Democrats -- support the minority view.

Democratic candidate John Kerry enjoys a modest advantage over President George W Bush: 32 to 24 per cent.

Substantial majorities think that all of the following are bad ideas:

  • Using India's information technology and data processing staff to replace American staff (by 73% to 15%).
  • Using Indian workers in telephone centres to replace American workers in telephone centres here (by 72% to 16%).
  • Using Chinese workers to manufacture things previously made here (by 64% to 21%).
  • Using Mexican workers to manufacture things previously manufactured here (59% to 24%).
Dharam Shourie in New York
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