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

 

What Went Wrong

Donald Barlett and James Steele are revisiting America: What Went Wrong, their landmark 1991 newspaper series, in a new project with the Investigative Reporting Workshop. Over the next year, the project team will examine how four decades of public policy has shaped America's ongoing economic crisis.

Issues

Back Story

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Donald Barlett and James Steele talk about the project, and why they decided to revisit a book they wrote two decades ago, in a series of video clips produced by the Workshop.

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We feature charts, maps, photos and other visualizations that reflect the state of the economy as part of our What Went Wrong project. This column chart shows the growing disparity between what individuals and corporations pay in taxes. In the 1950s, the difference was 22 percent. Recent figures show the difference is 62 percent.

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Florida, as a center of the housing boom, still struggles to recover from the Great Recession. Financial stresses and widespread foreclosures have placed families in precarious situations, resulting in a spike in child homelessness. Susannah Nesmith reports in the Broward Bulldog.

Older workers face challenges in Silicon Valley

An advanced degree and experience in the tech sector should be a ticket to a job in today's economy. But older workers in the heart of the new economy, Silicon Valley, are finding their resume is not the issue. Aaron Glantz reports in The Bay Citizen.

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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.