Things looking worse for IT folks

US high-tech firms will outsource one out of 10 jobs to low-cost emerging markets by the end of next year, according to a report Tuesday by Gartner Inc. The report indicated that one out of every 10 jobs within US-based IT vendors and service providers will move offshore. Industry groups estimate the US high-tech workforce at about 10.3 million. Gartner analysts said the increase in outsourcing could lead to an additional 500,000 IT jobs lost from US market in the next 18 months.

According to The Economic Policy Institute, we’re seeing the worst recovery in history in terms of job growth, jobs continue to disappear at a rate not seen since the Great Depression, and new overtime laws will seriously impact millions of people who do have jobs. Long-term unemployment rates are on the rise – in April 2003, 21.8% of jobless workers had been out of work for more than six months, as compared to only 18.3% in 2002. This rise in long-term unemployment is particularly affecting college graduates, white-collar workers, and workers over 45 years old.

Meanwhile, major news organizations are trumpeting the fact that initial jobless claims are down to “only” 390,000 last month…while neglecting to mention the hundreds of thousands of people whose unemployment benefits expired due to new federal limits on how long benefits can be paid.

Research by the Federal Reserve indicates that household debt is at a record high relative to disposable income. Bankruptcy filings are at their highest level ever, with more than 412,000 filed in the first quarter of the year alone. Mortgage foreclosures are at record highs, with almost 5% of mortgage loans delinquent, up almost 20% from the average delinquency rate in 2000.

In other words, the “cheap labor conservatives” are getting everything they want from this administration. A desperate workforce, willing to tolerate any number of abuses because the alternatives are homelessness, bankruptcy and hunger.

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