US jobs flow eastwards

With money in short supply for companies in the West, they are taking their operations and dollars to the cheaper East. India’s economy is among those benefiting from the American financial downturn.

­It is the Great Recession of the 21st century. What started as a collapse in the housing market in the United States has led to hunger and debt crises around the world. And while countries are struggling to protect their interests, Western businesses are increasingly shifting their work east to cut costs.

Welcome to Gurgaon, a modern suburb of New Delhi. Everywhere you look you see offices of American companies. It is a sign of the importance the United States has put on India in this financial crisis. Some outsourcing reports reveal that US companies have increased production in this country by as much as seven times in the past three years.

Carrier Corporation is a multi-billion-dollar American heating and ventilation company. They say that over the past decade, their business has shifted from being 70 per cent US-based to just 40 per cent today.

“We’ve been moving consciously in that direction,” Gaurang Pandya, the managing director for Carrier Corporation India, told RT. “So the idea is about having a good balance. It’s not about being focused on one market or the other but having a good balance and obviously an emerging market like India or China in Asia continue to be growth areas for us globally.”

And Carrier is not alone. According to the US Department of Commerce, the same number of jobs that have been cut from the United States in the last decade have been added to these companies’ overseas operations. It is a phenomenon that angers many Americans who are struggling to make ends meet. RT found out what people on the streets of Washington, DC, think about the issue:

"I think it’s despicable, disgusting, and we have people here that have worked here all of their lives who are losing jobs left and right because somebody on top wants to make a buck and pay the cheapest possible.”

“I want my dollars to go to stimulate the economy here in America.”

“I think American companies should hire American workers, because of the shrinking middle class and the fact that middle-class wages are decreasing over the last 30 years.”

“There are so many people here who don’t have jobs due to layoffs and I do think that is the wrong thing to do just sending their jobs overseas.”

And it is not just manufacturing work. American IT companies and innovation jobs are also moving in droves. As well as huge savings on wages, many companies say India’s fast growing economy and young workforce make it a desirable place to find staff.

“There are amazingly talented people here and part of the workforce and it’s a matter of helping other markets understand that there are very talented people here who can do a lot of work, and it’s not just about outsourcing,” says Brendan McCarthy, an account executive for Edelman.

It is growth that these American companies do not anticipate will end any time soon.

“We are one of the top ten markets,” says Asim Parekh, a vice-president technical at Coca Cola India. “We have a growth in the past four years of almost 20 per cent. I think aspirationally we would like to double our business every four to five years.”

Apparently, such confidence is not often seen among their colleagues in the West.