States with the greatest call center job creation post Great Recession

by King White, on Oct 13, 2014 9:24:00 AM

The call center industry in the United States was hit hard by the Great Recession. As call centers closed and companies sent more calls offshore to reduce costs, many experts believed those jobs would never return. Site Selection Group conducted an analysis of call center job creation in the United States since the official end of the Great Recession in June 2009 to identify which states had the greatest amount of jobs created from the call center industry.

How bad was it 
during the Great Recession?

The start of the Great Recession was triggered in December 2007 by the subprime mortgage crisis, which led to the collapse of the U.S. housing bubble. The recession officially ended in June of 2009 although its effects have been felt long past that time period.  From December 2007-June 2009, there were 49,497 call center jobs lost across the United States. These layoffs contributed to the unemployment rate peaking at 10% in October of 2009.

Did call center jobs return?

From July 2009 through September 2014, there were 440,391 call center jobs added to the workforce in the United States, which has helped bring the unemployment rate down to 5.9%. These jobs were distributed across the United States — typically in locations that provided ample labor availability and lower-cost labor. Many companies were also able to take advantage of many of the vacated call center facilities that had been left dark due to the recession as well as economic incentives offered by economic developers who were trying to stabilize their local economies. 


What states were the winners?

The following interactive map provides a detailed summary of what states were the recipients of call center jobs. (Move your mouse over each state to see the detailed results.)


The following table provides an additional summary of the Top 10 States for call center job creation post Great Recession.


                    Top 10 States for Call Center Job Creation

Ranking   State     # of Call Center Jobs
1  Texas  72,590
2  Florida  42,069
3  Arizona  25,205
4  Ohio  19,107
5  Colorado  17,570
6  Tennessee  17,281
7  Kentucky  16,854
8  North Carolina  16,666
9  Utah  16,263
10  Georgia  13,740



Even though the Great Recession technically lasted for only 1.5 years, the lingering effects were much longer and made a huge impact on the call center industry.  Post Great Recession, call center location trends turned full circle from offshore to nearshore to onshore. Today, there appears to be a much more balanced placement of call center jobs that seems to be aligned with increasing customer service levels while controlling operating costs.     


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Topics:Call CenterEconomic IncentivesEconomic Development



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