Call Center Job Creation Drops Over 50% During First Half of 2021

by King White, on Jul 19, 2021 5:06:47 PM

The lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced call center job creation by 56% when comparing mid-year 2020 to 2021. There were only 43,887 jobs announced in the first half of 2021 compared to 77,850 during the first half of 2020. The U.S. market is slowly returning back to the office while most nearshore and offshore locations are challenged with the slow rollout of vaccines. Most companies are still trying to figure out what their future footprint and workforce will look like in the future as work-from-home trends continue to unfold. The following table provides a summary of the data:

Call Center Job Creation & Displacement

  Q1-Q2 2020 Q1-Q2 2021 Change
# of Call Center Jobs Created 77,850 43,887 -33,963
# of New & Expanded Sites 121 118 -3
# of Call Center Jobs Displaced 9,944 3,351 -6,593
# of Closed & Downsized Sites 38 12 -26


The U.S. and the Philippines had the largest decrease in job creation

Call center site selection in the traditional sense drastically changed as a result of the pandemic. Many companies shifted to hub-and-spoke and virtual recruitment strategies. As a result, job creation data may not be completely reflective of job creation. Based on the same methodology for gathering the data, the following table summarizes job creation by region.

Call Center Job Creation by Region

Region  Q1-Q2 2020 Q1-Q2 2021  Change 
 Africa  3,000 6,900 3,900
 Asia-Pacific  4,240 1,175 -3,065
 Canada  950 550 -400
 Eastern Europe  550 1,250 700
 India  - 800 800
 LACA  4,682 8,880 4,198
 Middle East  - 500 500
 Philippines  16,400 2,010 -14,390
 USA  43,320 17,938 -25,382
 Western Europe  4,708 3,884 -824
 Total  77,850 43,887 -33,963


These 25 companies announced major call center job creation in 2021

Some companies are continuing to expand across the globe as they need to meet the demand of their customers or realign their global call center footprint. For example, there has been significant announcements in Latin America and South Africa by both captive and business process outsourcing companies. The following table identifies 25 of the largest announcements made during the first half of 2021.

25 Largest Call Center Expansion Announcements

Q1-Q2 2021

Company # of Jobs Location Expansion Type
Amazon 5,000 Cape Town, South Africa Expansion
IBEX 1,500 Portmore, Jamaica New Site
Asurion 1,500 Bogota, Colombia New Site
Webhelp 1,400 Cape Town, South Africa Expansion
itelBPO 1,000 Kingston, Jamaica New Site
Telus International 1,000 Ililio City, Philippines New Site
Alorica 1,000 Cali, Colombia New Site
Discover Financial Services 1,000 Chicago, IL New Site
Sitel 1,000 Athens, Greece New Site
Concentrix 1,000 Costa Rica Expansion
Concentrix 1,000 Jamaica Expansion
Spectrum 929 El Paso, TX Expansion
Pfizer 600 Tampa, FL New Site
NewDay 600 West Palm Beach, FL New Site
Ibex 560 Bohol, Philippines New Site
Transcom 550 Bogota, Colombia New Site
T-Mobile 540 North Charleston, SC Expansion
Firstsource 500 Farmers Branch, TX New Site
Teleperformance 500 Romania Expansion
Medica 500 St. Paul, MN New Site
Sykes 500 Hyderabad, India New Site
Fidelity Investments 500 Research Triangle Park, NC Expansion
Fidelity Investments 475 Westlake, TX Expansion
Chime Solutions 450 Dallas, TX Expansion
TTEC 450 Overland Park, KS New Site

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the call center industry continues to unfold. Companies continue to attempt to determine if they bring everyone back into their call center facilities, shift to a hub-and-spoke model, or go 100% virtual. Site Selection Group will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates and the trends begin to further materialize.

Topics:Call CenterSite SelectionCOVID-19



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