Tags: US | jobs | call | center

USA Today: US Jobs Are Making a Comeback

Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 09:47 AM

By Michelle Smith

A positive trend is underway in the United States — jobs are coming back.

After years of sending call center jobs overseas, U.S. companies are repatriating those positions, USA Today reports.

Approximately 5 million Americans are now employed in call centers, and industry insiders expect that number to grow.

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Companies sent call center jobs overseas in the first place to reduce labor costs, Matt Zemon, chairman of the nonprofit group Jobs4America, tells USA Today.

But in recent years overseas labor costs have increased, giving companies an incentive to bring the jobs back. And customers provided further motivation, as many were unhappy with the service from overseas call centers.

While companies certainly haven't abandoned overseas call centers, they are paying closer attention to which jobs are handled abroad.

Companies are relying on overseas centers to field calls involving low-price, low-margin items and technical support, Paul Stockford, director of research for the National Association of Call Centers, tells USA Today.

"The higher the value of the customer, the more likely the job will be in the U.S.," he notes.

Zemon estimates approximately 180,000 call center jobs were created in the United States in 2012 and 2013.

And Stockford says there are about 66,000 call centers currently in the nation.

But it's not just call centers that are set to hire. Middle-class jobs in general are finally making a comeback, CNNMoney reports.

Middle-class employment refers to positions that pay approximately $770 a week; and the resurgence is seen in industries such as manufacturing, sales, transportation and construction.

"The mix of jobs is improving," Ryan Sweet, director at Moody's Analytics, tells CNNMoney. "As the economy begins to grow consistently above its potential, we will see more middle-class jobs being created."

Moody's data show growth in mid-wage jobs rose to an average of 1.5 percent in 2014, up from 1 percent for the two years prior.

And with that job growth, wages appear to also be moving in a positive direction.

The 1.3 million private sector jobs created this year are paying an average of $867 per week, compared with $843 per week that the existing 117 million private sector workers earn, according to Capital Economics data cited by CNNMoney.

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