CNN: Apple 'Exporting America' For Cheap Labor Overseas

Apple Computer has been added to CNNis list of American companies either sending American jobs overseas or choosing to employ cheap foreign labor instead of American workers.

CNN news anchor Lou Dobbs added Apple to the list of almost 300 American companies on its Monday airing of iLou Dobbs Tonighti. The program has been focusing since last October 30th on the outsourcing of American jobs in its continuing series "Exporting America." The series was based originally on a University of California, Berkeley study that warned as many as 14 million American jobs - or 11 percent of the US work force - are at risk of being shipped overseas.

Apple outsources most of the manufacturing of its desktop and laptop products overseas, including a large percentage of its accessories. While the company does not outsource a large amount of its customer support -- as many others do -- to countries like India, Apple does have some call centers in Europe, but those primarily serve customers in those regions.

The Berkeley study said the average annual salary of the threatened jobs is a shade under US$40,000. The biggest group at risk is 8.6 million Americans in office support jobs, while the threat is strongest in cities built on high-paying service jobs, like Boston, New York, San Francisco and San Jose. The report said jobs are going primarily to India, which will have 17 million workers available in information technology by 2008 and is already becoming Americais high-tech support mecca.

Cynthia Kroll, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeleyis Haas School of Business and an author of the report, said another factor in the outsourcing of American jobs is that the trend generally drives down wages in sector jobs that remain in the US.

Other high-tech companies on the "Exporting America" list include Adaptec, Adobe Systems, AMD, AOL, Dell Computer, Earthlink, Expedia, Gateway, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Lexmark International, Microsoft, Motorola, Oracle, Quark, Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments, and Yahoo!.

Last year, Dell moved many of its call centers back from India to the US after its corporate customers had trouble understanding the India-accented call center help.

An Apple spokeswoman had no comment on the CNN report for The Mac Observer.