Large, global companies have eliminated 300,000 IT jobs in 2009, according to the consultancy Hackett Group. Back-office jobs in general fell 630,000 — three times the average annual job loss from 2000 to 2007. The firm doesn’t expect 2010 to see a turnaround for such positions, and instead forecasts an “extended jobless recovery.”

Reasons include the lack of economic growth, deep cuts in response to budget pressures, improvements in productivity and automation, and the increased use of offshore labor resources.

In the longer term, Hackett’s research estimates that nearly 2 million IT jobs in North America and Europe will have been eliminated between 2000 and 2014. That makes IT the largest back-office segment to lose jobs. The firm advises companies to use automation and offshoring, rather than hiring locally, to continue to keep back-office staff costs down due to the projected long-term economic slowdown.

Hackett’s figures are based on a survey of 4,000 global companies, all with more than $1 billion in revenue. Back-office jobs include IT, administration, HR, finance, and procurement.



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