4.05.2004

Outsourcing Sending San Diego's High-Skilled, High-Wage Jobs to India, China The Miami Herald (4/4)

Last week, Treasury Secretary John Snow picked up the theme.

"You can outsource a lot of activities and get them done just as well, or better, at a lower cost," Snow said. "If we can keep the American economy strong and growing and expanding, we'll create lots of jobs."

But high-tech workers and a chorus of economists wonder whether the economy can keep expanding as jobs are shifted overseas.

"Any time somebody says jobs are being created, you have to ask what kind of jobs they are," said John Pagakis, a technology consultant in Arizona who runs a Web site on offshoring, www.whosoutsourcing.com. "If you lose 100,000 software jobs and gain 100,000 retail jobs, I'm not sure you're coming out even."

The jobless rate for electrical and electronics engineers hit an all-time high of 6.2 percent last year, compared with 4.2 percent in 2002. The jobless rate for computer scientists and systems analysts also is at record levels of 5.2 percent, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

The weakness in tech jobs is reflected in San Diego, which has lost 1,900 computer manufacturing workers, 1,500 telecom workers and 700 software writers in the past two years.

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