- Finding a remote job is getting more and more difficult.
- Openings are tapering off, and companies are outsourcing some remote positions overseas.
- 10% to 20% of US service support jobs could move overseas over the next decade.
Landing a remote job could become more and more challenging.
That’s because competition for remote work in the US remains fierce, the number of job postings are on the decline, and some of the remote jobs that remain are being outsourced overseas.
As of March, roughly 13% of US job postings were remote, according to the staffing firm Manpower Group, down from 17% in March 2022 but up from the pre-pandemic level of 4%. By the end of 2023, Nick Bloom, Stanford economist and leading work-from-home researcher, previously told Insider that the share of remote postings could fall to 10%.
“Employees in the US still want fully remote roles but these are shrinking,” Bloom said, pointing to the businesses that have called employees back to the office at least a few days per week.
—Nick Bloom (@I_Am_NickBloom) March 11, 2023
Companies are moving remote jobs overseas
Some companies are embracing remote work, but not in the US. Instead, they’re outsourcing jobs overseas and saving on labor costs.
Johnny Taylor Jr., CEO of the Virginia-based Society for Human Resource Management, told The Wall Street Journal that he decided to outsource one employee’s role after they inquired about moving to a different state and working remotely. Taylor said he decided to outsource the position to India and saved roughly 40% in labor costs.
In August, 7.3% of U.S. senior managers surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta said remote work was causing them to move more jobs abroad, and more companies could follow suit in the future.
That’s because the remote work revolution is still in its infancy, and the pandemic made it difficult for companies to travel and build global remote operations. But this could change in the years to come and lead to a “big surge in offshoring,” Bloom told Insider last year.
“If you’re about to outsource 500 jobs to India, you probably want to go and visit there first and check it out and that’s not that easy,” he said. “I think 2025 we’re going to think, ”Oh my God, look at what’s happened. There’s been three million jobs moved offshore from the US.'”
Bloom told the Journal that roughly 10% to 20% of US service support jobs like software developers, HR professionals and payroll administrators could move overseas over the next decade.
It’s already had an impact on the tech industry.
“US tech companies are saying, ‘We can hire an engineer in the United States for $300,000 or we can hire somebody great internationally with very similar experience for $75,000,'” Chris Bakke, CEO of the tech-recruiting platform Laskie, previously told Insider.
For Americans who are eager to snag that remote job, it’s not all doom and gloom. The ability to apply for any remote position is a huge advantage for job seekers, even as postings decline, Daniel Zhao, a Glassdoor economist, told Insider.
“Before the pandemic, a job seeker living in Bozeman, Montana, would be limited to local jobs,” he said, “but now, that same job seeker has access to remote jobs from all over the country.”
But the aforementioned factors mean the job search might not be easy, among the reasons some remote workers are clinging on to their jobs whether they like them or not.