For the last fifteen years or so, employers both large and small have been thinking in terms of maximizing efficiency and productivity at any cost. The result has been a mentality where employers thought in terms of doing more with less people. Customers calling companies at every level were subjected to automated voices attempting (and often failing) to help, polite but often useless service people in far-away lands, or in some cases, no help at all. Manufacturing jobs were exported by the millions, as corporations raced to outsource everything.
But now some of this may be changing. Don’t expect to speak to a real person right away or for a large number of jobs to materialize in our community this year, but the direction of jobs globalization may be reversing. Some companies are rethinking their outsourcing strategies. Some corporations are beginning to repatriate manufacturing jobs. Others are beginning to experiment with getting rid of automated systems telling us that they are “experiencing unusually large call volume” and instead are hiring American customer service reps.
It’s too soon to tell whether this encouraging trend will gain any large scale traction nationwide, but the signs are beginning to look better. It will be a long slog back to 6% unemployment, but we seem to be headed in the right direction.