Outsourcing may not have heavy impact in Vermont

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(Host) Economist Art Woolf says it’s unlikely a large number of Vermont jobs will be outsourced overseas. Speaking last night on VPR’s Switchboard, Woolf said the transfer of jobs overseas is also a two-way street for the state.

(Woolf) “We also have jobs that are in-sourced. IDX in Vermont just got a huge contract from the British Department of Health, I think it’s on the order of a billion dollars over a 5 or 10 year period to basically computerize the entire health care system in England. So we benefit from other countries and other states doing basically the same thing that we’re complaining about.”

(Host) Recently there’s been concern about overseas outsourcing of jobs by Vermont businesses. It was also disclosed that the state has a contract with a company that outsources jobs to India. Woolf says nationally about one percent of American jobs are being outsourced overseas.

But Middlebury College Economics Professor Robert Prasch said outsourcing — like the loss of manufacturing jobs — is contributing to lack of job growth and a growing trade deficit.

(Prasch) “I think that’s something we should be bothered about. You know our trade deficit is phenomenal, so you know we’re bringing in an awful lot of goods from overseas and many of those goods that we bring in are products that we formally made here.”

(Host) Vermont, lawmakers are discussing legislation that would bar the state from contracting with companies that outsource jobs overseas.

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