My blog to be published later this week in the G&M Economy Lab talks about the potential implications of the Internet and how it will negatively impact employment in Canada. If you look just at the sector of the economy where the outsourced call centre jobs are categorized (NAICS 5614), employment has declined by more than 32,000 across Canada just since 2007. Now much of this decline is due to the “do not call list” but the broader trend of Web-based customer interaction is potentially far more influential in the longer term.
Employment Trend: Business Support Services (NAICS 5614) – Canada Wide
Source: Statistics Canada Table 281-0024.
The number of these outsourcing telephone call centres picked around 2008 and has dropped since. From 2008 to 2011, there was a drop of more than 160 of these estalbishments across Canada with declines in all provinces except nova Scotia. Ontario lost 73 of these establishments.
Number of Telephone Call Centres in Canada (NAICS 56142)
Source: Canadian Business Patterns. Statistics Canada.
There are easily 3.5 million jobs in Canada that are based in large part on the telephone. That is just among non-professional occupations. Of course all these jobs are not going to disappear over night and in fact many of them have been increasing in recent years. However, in the medium to long term the Web is going to displace a large chunk of these jobs and replace them with Web copy writers, Web designers, etc.
Selected Non-Professional Customer Interaction Jobs (2006) – Canada wide
Source: 2006 Census.