What's the word for non-globalizable industries?
February 27, 2008 8:42 AM   Subscribe

What is the term for industries/markets that are not easily globalized/offshored because they require a physical presence, like home construction, service industry jobs or healthcare professionals?
posted by snofoam to Writing & Language (11 answers total)
I've heard the term "last mile job" used to describe this type of profession (mainly with parts of the tech/telecom industry that cannot be offshored).
posted by grandsham at 9:08 AM on February 27, 2008

"Bricks" vs. "clicks."
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:17 AM on February 27, 2008

posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:48 AM on February 27, 2008

Client facing.
posted by Mutant at 9:58 AM on February 27, 2008

I don't think one of your examples meets your criteria. Why can't healthcare professionals be outshored? Get a radiologist in India to interpret an x-ray. Tele-conference doctor visits as are done for the remote communities for Canada's far north. If robotic surgury controlled by a specialist remotely is not happening already, I'm sure it will soon. Do pharmacists count as healthcare workers? If so, they're already online. What about medical tourism reducing the need for surgeons in the West. Ok, cleaning the bedpan and giving a sponge bath can't be offshored. So maybe the direct care giver (nurse or orderly) can't be offshored.

More directly to your question: Although it is unwieldy, you have all the ideas in your question. The jobs that can't be offshored are "direct physical presence required jobs"
posted by FastGorilla at 11:51 AM on February 27, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions so far. I feel like I have heard/read a term in the past that describes this, but maybe that's a figment of my imagination. A little bit of clarification: I'm not thinking about online versus offline, or specific jobs, but really more like industries that are insulated from some of the effects of globalization because they must be done in a specific place. For example the market for retrofitting buildings to be more energy efficient would be that way, because the buildings are where they are.
posted by snofoam at 12:58 PM on February 27, 2008

Response by poster: Oh, also, the term I'm thinking of describes the insulation from globalization aspect of the industry/market, not the reason why it is that way. Like "immobile market" or something rather than "customer facing." Hopefully that makes sense.
posted by snofoam at 1:02 PM on February 27, 2008

Why can't healthcare professionals be outshored?

I assumed that the OP was thinking about direct caregivers: nurses, CNAs, home health aides, physical therapists, etc.
posted by Robert Angelo at 2:58 PM on February 27, 2008

Response by poster: yes, robert has it with regards to that clarification. the part of healthcare that is sticking a needle in your arm or turning you over or changing your bed pan is the part that cannot be done from another country. surely any industry has some offshorable component.
posted by snofoam at 7:01 PM on February 27, 2008

I think you’re thinking of non-tradable goods and services versus tradable goods and services. Here’s a link to an research paper (pdf) that tries to determine what types of jobs fall into the tradable category.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 9:34 PM on February 27, 2008

Here’s a blub from the paper I linked to above:
Briefly summarizing the results, based on job task content the occupational groups with large shares of employment in the highest potentially tradable group include: Business and Financial Operations (74.7 percent of employment); Computer and Mathematical Occupations (93.4 percent); Architecture and Engineering (80.8 percent), Life, Physical and Social Sciences (75.9 percent) and Office/administrative support (64.3 percent). The notable non-tradable occupational groups, with large shares of employment identified as least potentially tradable include: Education and Library (43.7 percent); Healthcare Practitioners (78 percent); Healthcare Support (94.4 percent), Food Preparation (100 percent). Overall for the service occupations, 27.4 percent of May 2005 employment was in the most potentially tradable group, while 43.8 percent of employment was in occupations rated as least potentially tradable. There is a considerable overlap between the job task content measure of potential tradable and our geographic concentration measure. We also find a positive correlation between skill (measured as educational attainment) and potential tradability – occupations with a greater share of workers with a college degree are more highly ranked as offshorable
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 9:40 PM on February 27, 2008

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