August 20, 2015

Outsourcing Statistics: 23 Facts and Trends

Read more about Business

Is outsourcing a trend or fad? Read on for the current facts and figures on job outsourcing.

© marlssaorton (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

To stay competitive in the business world, corporations increasingly rely on outsourcing to make their operations more affordable. In the U.S., outsourcing is a hot topic; whether it helps or harms the economy is the subject of frequent debate among economic experts.

In the last two decades, outsourcing has been steadily picking up steam as companies of all sizes jump on the bandwagon. CreditDonkey conducted a brief study on the state of outsourcing in the U.S., and what we found might surprise you.

We begin with a broad overview of outsourcing, including a look at how many jobs are relocated overseas, what motivates companies to outsource and how workers fare financially.

  1. How many jobs are outsourced by the U.S. each year?
    Pinning down the exact number of jobs that are moved overseas each year is difficult. It's estimated that 300,000 positions are outsourced annually.

  2. How do Americans feel about outsourcing?
    The average citizen takes a less than positive view of outsourcing. During the height of the economic crisis, 86% of Americans said they felt that losing jobs overseas only added to the negative financial fallout.

  3. What percentage of employers support moving jobs back to their home country?
    Outsourcing's popularity among major companies is evident. Just 16% say they either have or would move jobs back to their home turf, with more than 70% citing poor offshore supplier performance as the reason.

  4. What's the number one reason companies to choose to outsource?
    Cost reduction is overwhelmingly the most compelling reason that companies choose to relocate jobs overseas. In the IT and business sectors, cost factors into 87% of outsourcing decisions. It is possible for small business owners to cut costs internally as well, like by switching to a free business checking account from a more costly plan.

  5. How effective is outsourcing at saving companies money?
    Among IT companies that depend on outsourcing to lower their overhead, 30% say that it's been an effective strategy to reduce costs. Fifty-five percent say it's somewhat effective while 15% claim that it's not effective at all.

  6. What's the global outsourcing industry worth?
    Outsourcing is big business; it's estimated that worldwide, the industry generated $507 billion in revenue in 2014 alone. Electronics manufacturing accounted for the largest share, at approximately $381 billion.

  7. What's the biggest complaint among companies that outsource?
    While outsourcing can save money, it's not without certain drawbacks. Nearly 50% of employers that outsource say the quality of their service providers and a reactive versus proactive attitude are the most frustrating issues to deal with.

  8. How much does the average outsourced worker make?
    Wages for outsourced workers vary widely by industry and by the country where they're employed. In the manufacturing industry, for example, Chinese workers make an average of $1.36 per hour, compared to $23.32 for U.S.-based employees.

  9. How big is the freelance outsourcing economy?
    The Internet has made it possible for just about anyone to become a freelancer these days, and in the U.S., there are 53 million freelance workers. It's estimated that the global online workforce generates between $1 and $2 billion annually.

  10. What tasks are least likely to be outsourced?
    Eighty-nine percent of companies say they wouldn't outsource strategic planning functions. Nearly 80% don't plan to outsource sales or marketing jobs.


Outsourcing rates vary by industry, with some sectors utilizing foreign workers more than others. We've compared how often outsourcing occurs across several of the most prominent fields.

  1. How common is outsourcing in the IT industry?
    More than 60% of the total outsourcing market is composed of IT workers. The majority of jobs that are outsourced fall under the support services umbrella.

  2. How prevalent is outsourcing in the banking industry?
    Almost 40% of help desk positions in the banking industry are held by outsourced workers. More than a third of jobs in payroll and benefits administration are also occupied by remote workers.

  3. What about insurance?
    Outsourcing is less common in the insurance field, although certain tasks are more likely than others to be turned over to overseas workers. Nearly a third of application development processes are outsourced, along with a quarter of IT and payroll functions.

  4. How many customer service positions are outsourced?
    Approximately 54% of companies in the customer service industry utilize overseas workers. Forty-six percent of companies outsource order fulfillment while 41% employ foreign workers as technical support specialists.

  5. What percentage of companies outsource call center positions?
    Forty-three percent of companies outsource call center management positions to workers in other countries. This trend is expected to grow, with 23% of employers saying they plan to outsource call center employment in the future.

  6. How often are legal tasks outsourced?
    Outsourcing is becoming more common in the legal industry; 67% of employers leave the composition of legal opinions to foreign workers. Sixty-five percent outsource legal counsel, and research services are outsourced 56% of the time.


The vast majority of outsourced positions are held by Asian workers. We've concluded our study with a look at which countries account for the largest share of outsourced jobs.

  1. Which Asian country do employers outsource to the most?
    India has become a hotspot for outsourcing, with 59% of employers worldwide employing Indian workers. Twenty-two percent of companies say they have plans to move at least some of their operations to India or would consider doing so.

  2. Which sector is most likely to outsource to India?
    In recent years, India has become the preferred destination for IT positions. India holds approximately 65% of all outsourced IT jobs.

  3. Which Indian city sees the most outsourcing activity?
    Bangalore ranks as the number one city for outsourcing in India, followed by Mumbai. Delhi and Chennai also make the top five.

  4. How popular is China for outsourcing?
    China ranks as the second most popular destination for outsourcing, with 36% of companies relocating jobs here.

  5. How many jobs are outsourced to China?
    Between 2001 and 2013, 3.2 million U.S. jobs were lost or displaced in favor of Chinese workers. Approximately 2.4 million of those jobs were in the manufacturing sector.

  6. Which state loses the most jobs to Asian outsourcing?
    California has suffered the biggest losses in connection with Chinese outsourcing. More than 564,000 Californians saw their jobs moved overseas between 2001 and 2013. Texas came in second, with more than 304,000 jobs lost.

  7. Which Asian countries are the least popular for outsourcing?
    Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia are relatively untapped as far as outsourcing goes, with just 4% of multinational companies employing workers in these countries.


Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Rebecca Lake at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Read Next:

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Apply for Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
At Chase's Secure Site
  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
16.24% - 21.24% Variable
Business Checking Account Promotions

Business Account Promotions

Professional Email Address

Professional Email Address

Discount Calculator

Discount Calculator

Sales Tax Calculator

Sales Tax Calculator

Profit Increase Calculator

Profit Increase Calculator

Business Startup Calculator

Business Startup Calculator

Leave a comment about Outsourcing Statistics: 23 Facts and Trends?

Best Bank for Small Business

Banks for Small Business

The right bank account can make or break your business. Narrow down your options and find the best business bank account with this guide.

About CreditDonkey
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.

About Us | Reviews | Deals | Tips | Privacy | Do Not Sell My Info | Terms | Contact Us
(888) 483-4925 | 680 East Colorado Blvd, 2nd Floor | Pasadena, CA 91101
© 2022 CreditDonkey Inc. All Rights Reserved.