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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Penn Primary Showcases Potential Offshoring of 286,000 Jobs

From WashTech/CWA News:

April 21, 2008
WashTech News

Washtech Correspondent
Seattle, April 21

Potentially 286,000 jobs or 18% of Pennsylvania's entire job market can be offshored, a new study reported as voters get ready to head to the polls tomorrow in the next big Democratic Presidential Primary contest between Obama and Clinton. Even though economy is rated as a top concern, the campaigns seemed more focused on trading barbs over campaign strategy, and currently on, "who is more negative?"

Campaign finance offices show Senators Clinton and Obama have both spent $50 million since March, including for the Penn primary. This amount shows up quite in contrast with a Public Citizen report showing that more than a quarter million jobs in Pennsylvania are highly vulnerable to offshoring within the next 10 to 20 years[m1] . The Economic Policy Institute seconds the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization's report with a recent press release showing that a combined 1,041,000 Pennsylvania jobs - or 18 percent of the state's total workforce of 5.7 million - are vulnerable to offshoring, including the 286,000 jobs classified under the "highly offshorable", and 755,000 jobs "offshorable" categories, prompting to call for the need for new trade and tax policies.

On a national basis, the EPI data show that the workers most vulnerable to offshoring are those with a four-year college degree and that those jobs pay $8,000, or 14 percent, more per year than non-offshorable jobs. The jobs were analyzed according to the "offshorabilty index," created by Princeton economist and former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alan Blinder, who has propounded that White collar jobs such as accounting, editing, graphic design, among others, that do not require on-site presence but can be accomplished by phone and over the Internet are particularly vulnerable to offshoring.

"The wide-scale export of U.S. jobs is not inevitable, but rather is a result of our current failed trade agreements, which provide expansive new protections for U.S. firms to ship investment and jobs offshore," said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division. To get the candidates' answers on the prickly subject, The Pennsylvania Fair Trade Coalition had sent questionnaires to Sen. Clinton, Obama and McCain last month. Both Obama and Clinton have announced that they would renegotiate NAFTA and the South Korean Trade Agreement to eliminate corporate loopholes. Their detailed responses on how to fix the unfair trade problem are posted at

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