AT&T, in a curious act of balancing layoffs and hiring, announced that it has brought back in-house about 4,000 support center jobs, on its way toward its goal of bringing back a total of 5,000 that had been outsourced – many, if not all, overseas.
Meanwhile, early last December, the company said it would layoff 12,000 employees.
AT&T’s maneuvering underscores the difficulty of balancing conflicting employment goals. AT&T, like many other U.S. companies, is forced by the economy to shed workers. Meanwhile, the company feels compelled to repatriate jobs; this program was announced three years ago.
AT&T pointed out that the vast majority of the jobs had been placed offshore by contract vendors.
The first wave of 3,000 repatriated jobs are in broadband support centers in North Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Kentucky, with most of the others scattered across states in the Southeast.
The company said of the remaining 2,000 jobs it intends to restore, it has hired back about half. Those jobs, the company said, are in locations in the former SBC territory, including Indiana, Texas, Nevada, Michigan and Arkansas.
Even in the current difficult economy, the company noted, it continues to add jobs in parts of the business that are growing, such as wireless, video and broadband.