A technology labor group on Thursday launched a Web-based tool designed to track the number of jobs U.S. companies send overseas. Since April 1, 2001, U.S. companies have "offshored" at least 160,785 jobs, according to the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers. The group, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union, is running its "Offshoring Tracker" with the CWA. The organizations said the project aims to help plug a gap in information about the controversial offshore trend. "We know we're seriously undercounting--but it's a count," Tony Daley, CWA research economist, said in a statement. "Nobody else is counting. And there is a conspiracy on the other side to not count at all."
Defenders of shifting work abroad argue that it helps the U.S. economy overall. A recent industry-sponsored study concluded that offshore outsourcing of information technology work leads to a more efficient economy and more jobs in the United States.