A recent Opinion Research poll leaves no question that outsourcing—particularly offshoring—suffers from an image problem. Among 1,000 Americans surveyed, 72 percent of respondents said outsourcing is “really all about corporate greed,” and 25 percent associated the word outsourcing with job losses.
That a quarter of those surveyed made the mental leap from outsourcing to layoffs shows a level of public misunderstanding about the labor practice not previously documented, according to Jeff Resnick, Opinion Research executive VP and managing director. He observes that even though many workers whose jobs are outsourced remain employed (though on the outsourcer’s payroll) when jobs are outsourced domestically, survey respondents apparently equated outsourcing with sending jobs offshore.
The poll’s overall findings contain many contradictions. Most of the people surveyed thought that outsourcing is good for the world economy and bad for the United States, but only 28 percent were worried about losing their own jobs. And although 69 percent of respondents believed the public can influence a company’s offshoring decisions by boycotting its products, only 49 percent said they would pay an extra 20 percent for an American-made product.