U.S. Contact Centers Added 22,265 Jobs in Q3



The nonprofit association Jobs4America recorded 22,265 new positions in the U.S. contact center industry in the third quarter of 2015. After subtracting the 5,678 jobs that were cut due to force reductions and closures, the firm recorded a net total of 16,587 new jobs created between July 1 and September 30.

To arrive at these numbers, Jobs4america used data compiled by Dallas-based Site Selection Group, a location advisory and economic incentives firm specializing in call center site selection services.

"There were about eleven different operations that shut down in July, accounting for about 2,830 jobs, and about eight different operations shut down in August, [accounting for] about 1,360 jobs," says Jeff Sheehan, senior vice president of the Site Selection Group. "Seven shut down—that we are aware of—in September, accounting for another 1,515 jobs." These sites covered a range of industries, from technology to education, with groups such as Xerox, Wyndham Hotels, Sykes, and CapitalOne all shutting down sites, Sheehan notes.

Still, despite these losses, the results point to a healthy U.S. contact center industry, with additional opportunities opening up for those who lost jobs. Matt Zemon, chairman of Jobs4America and CEO of American Support, a contact center outsourcing firm based in Holy Hill, Fla., noted the highlights in a statement:

"The U.K.-based Barclaycard U.S. call center led the way with 1,500 jobs in Hamilton, Ohio, for the credit card servicing company. Outsourcers Sitel, Sykes and Teleperformance continue to expand their domestic operations creating important new job opportunities for citizens of our country."

In addition to the operations Zemon mentioned, Jobs4America ran down the top 10 U.S. sites for expansions and job openings by number of jobs created: 

  1. Barclays—1,500 jobs in Hamilton, Ohio.;
  2. Sitel—1,000 jobs in Fort Lauterdale,, Fla..;
  3. Sykes—900 jobs in Boise, Idaho.;
  4. AAA—700 jobs in Layton, Utah.;
  5. Teletech—600 jobs in Greeley, Colo..;
  6. Sitel—600 jobs in Spartanburg, S.C.;
  7. Teleperformance— 500 jobs in Port St. Lucie, Fla.;
  8. Teleperformance—500 jobs in Reno, Nev.;
  9. Sykes—500 jobs in Montgomery, Ala.;
  10. Servicom—500 jobs in Rockford, Ill.

Sheehan notes that the top 10 includes both business process outsourcers (BPOs), which typically provide contracted work, and enterprise groups, which typically offer on-site employment opportunities.

Jobs4America's goal for 2015 remains to create 100,000 new contact center jobs by the end of the year, and though the official tally will not tabulated until early 2016, the odds of achieving that goal look promising. According to a statement by Jack Wilkie, president and CEO of Jobs4America, the growth of the market in Q3 was strong compared to the 8,116 jobs created in Q3 of 2014, which augurs continued growth next year.

"The outlook for 2016 looks strong, with a projected industry growth rate of 13.8 percent," Sheehan says.

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