Offshore jobs not minuscule as researcher reported

I will never be able to understand why people are unable to perform even simple mathematics.

I refer to your article on page four of A.M. Costa Rica of April 18, 2012, “Economic study says offshoring does little damage to U.S. jobs.”

The study states that 3,400,000 jobs are shipped offshore every year. This is out of a total of 60,000,000 jobs available in specified categories. I have no way of verifying these figures. The article continues and states that this is a “minuscule 0.53 percent of the nearly 60 million jobs within those categories”.

For those not accustomed to dealing in percentages, it is a portion of a whole expressed in parts of 100 expressed as a whole digit with a decimal and a remainder, or for those percentages smaller that 1 percent, the decimal remainder.

To find the actual percentage of jobs shipped offshore, one would then take 3,400,000 and divide it by 60,000,000. The quotient obtained is .05666. One then simply moves the decimal two places to the right, effectively dividing it by 100, and you obtain the true percentage of 5.67%, after rounding off, which is considerably different from what is stated. In any case, it is not “miniscule.”

A direct quote from the Internet when I Googled “U.S. Unemployment” gave me this “The unemployment rate in the United States was last reported at 8.2 percent in March of 2012”. When I checked “U.S. Population” I found this: “The United States will enter 2012 with a population of roughly 312.8 million people”. With 8.2 percent unemployment, that gives us 25,649,600 out of work. And those are only the ones still on the unemployment roles. It does not include those who are hard core unemployed because of drug addictions or other reasons. If we now take the number of jobs shipped overseas and divide it by the number of unemployed, we obtain 13.2 percent. That being the number of people represented by that percentage who would be working in the U.S. rather than someone in a foreign country. A considerable number.

Some other points made I agree with. But most of those really have to do with the corporate “bottom line” than anything else.

But I’m just an aerospace engineer. I do know that a lot of my work is being shipped to India.
Joe Sullivan

Editor’s Note: We have sought clarification from the author of the article at the University of Buffalo, New York.

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