Site Selection Group Releases 2021 Global Call Center Location Trend Report
by King White, on Feb 24, 2021 8:39:50 AM
As companies seek to optimize their call center footprint between facilities-based and work-from-home, understanding historic growth trends can help to develop onshore, nearshore and offshore location strategies. In 2020, Site Selection Group identified 275 new and expanding call center announcements that created 160,392 jobs as well as 51 call center announcements involving 12,467 jobs at call centers that were downsizing or closing their facilities. By analyzing this data, Site Selection Group has identified regional location trends that are summarized in the Global Call Center Location Trend Report 2021.
Global call center industry job creation increased by 16%
The call center industry quickly shifted most employees from facilities-based to work-from-home in onshore, nearshore and offshore geographies. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States led overall job creation with 138 projects announced with 69,870 jobs, which was an increase of 16% over 2019. The Latin America and Caribbean region proved to be the hottest area with 41 projects creating an estimated 37,193 jobs, which was a staggering 155% increase over the previous year. The following diagrams summarize the growth of call centers across the world:
Call Center Jobs Created by Global Region
Note: Site Selection Group data was gathered from press releases and government agencies. Data is representative of market trends and in-depth country due diligence for all activity.
US call center market expanded by 70,000 jobs
The challenges of shifting to work-from-home in nearshore and offshore geographies combined with demand for quality customer service created the perfect storm for growth in the United States. Site Selection Group estimates that 138 call center employers opened new facilities, expanded existing facilities or expanded through work-from-home hiring within the United States. These companies announced the creation of 69,870 jobs, which was a 20% increase from 2019. Over 20,000 of these jobs were created by companies recruiting across the United States for work-from-home positions. The Southeast and Southwest accounted for over 32,000 of these jobs generally due to more attractive labor conditions, lower operating costs and availability of economic incentives. For detailed U.S. location trend data, download the Global Call Center Location Trend Report 2021.
Nearshore Latin America and Caribbean region had explosive 155% growth
The Latin America and Caribbean (LACA) region had explosive growth while the Philippines and India incurred significant challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The LACA region was the hottest global region due to labor availability, bilingual skills, low wage costs and accessibility to the United States. The region had 41 projects announced creating an estimated 37,193 jobs. This amounted to a staggering 155% increase over the previous year, which beat previous hotspots such as the Philippines. Costa Rica was very active with 21 projects as both captive and business process outsourcers expanded in the country. Colombia, Jamaica, Belize and Nicaragua also had some sizable project announcements. For detailed nearshore location trend data, download the Global Call Center Location Trend Report 2021.
Offshore regions faced significant challenges due to COVID-19 lockdowns
The primary offshore markets in India and the Philippines were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. The overall saturation of the markets combined with infrastructure challenges to enable work-from-home created even more challenges. Many workers were forced to work off hotspots from their homes to successfully transition to work-from-home. The Philippines job creation dropped 55% to approximately 20,000 jobs as a result. South Africa, Egypt and Pakistan were some alternative offshore countries that gained momentum. For detailed offshore location trend data, download the Global Call Center Location Trend Report 2021.
Call center location strategies have become far more complicated in a post-COVID-19 world as companies have more flexibility than ever on where to locate due to the work-from-home model. Whether you are seeking to expand with a facilities-based or work-from-home solution, it is critical to evaluate site selection factors such as labor availability, labor cost, geopolitical risks, infrastructure, economic incentives and real estate conditions. To help you develop a call center location strategy aligned to your goals and objectives, download the Global Call Center Location Trend Report 2021 or contact one of our global call center site selection experts to find the optimal location for you.