Graphic: U.S. offshoring trends since 1975

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 

Offshoring moves in waves, with spikes and troughs in particular industries. The oil and gas industry saw a burst of offshoring in the mid-1980s. Transportation equipment manufacturing moved offshore in the late 1970s, with another spurt of offshoring in the 2000s.

Until May 2009, service workers were not eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance, despite increasing offshoring of work in call centers, bill processing and other service industries. After the law was changed, as part of the stimulus bill, petitions from service workers shot up. That expansion of the program expired in February 2011, and service workers can no longer get the additional support TAA provides.

The charts below track the number of Trade Adjustment petitions approved. Each petition represents work moved overseas or lost to trade. It does not reflect the number of individual workers who lost jobs to trade. The industries charted below represent the five industries with the highest numbers of TAA petitions certified since the program began in 1974, and also shows certified petitions in the service industry.

Sources: TAA petitions, analysis by Kat Aaron and Jacob Fenton, Investigative Reporting Workshop

Graphic by Julie Snider for the Investigative Reporting Workshop


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Read an Excerpt

The Betrayal of the American Dream on Google Books

The Betrayal of the American Dream on Google Books

Check out the first chapter of Barlett and Steele's 2012 book here.