Domestic Accountants Vulnerable to Future Offshoring

Accounting jobs are among the major occupations that may be threatened with domestic extinction due to offshoring according to a recent working paper for Princeton's Center for Economic Policy Studies. The author, economics professor and former deputy chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Alan Blinder ranks the occupations into four categories according to their "offshorability." For instance, computer programmers are among the most vulnerable and are ranked in category one.

Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks -- 1.9 million in the U.S. -- share category one status with computer programmers, telemarketers, computer systems analysts, billing and postal clerks, and machine operators and computer support specialists.

Domestic accountants are considered a category two on Blinder's list, which also includes auditors.

Blinder says the U.S. could lose between 30 million and 40 million jobs in the coming decades, due to improved communications technology and "new" workers from countries like India and China.

Blinder looks at this from both the optimistic and pessimistic views. He suggests that higher education may not be the ticket to a secure job, as it has been in the past two decades. Rather, he believes occupations that happen to require less education -- skilled trades such as roofers and plumbers and electricians -- are less vulnerable to offshoring.


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