Excerpt: By Pete Mohan

As back office operations have evolved, two tiers of center have emerged; companies have opted to increase complexity of tasks and level of responsibility in some centers, oftentimes requiring a bachelor’s degree; for centers not requiring that level of education, finding cost-effective locations to train-up entry and experienced talent is the priority. Due to this bifurcation of back office labor needs, both high- and low-level operations face unique challenges, and each have opportunities for growth.

Current State of Back Office Employment

Back office employment in the U.S. has grown at less than half the rate of total employment since 2014 (2.8 percent vs. 5.9 percent). Back office employment in medium- and large-sized metros has grown more rapidly than smaller metros as well as the national rate. However, this trend seems to be driven primarily by general labor availability, as total employment growth still outpaces back office growth by at least 50 percent in each of the different metro area size groupings. Additionally, in the 160 metros with employment growing faster than the U.S. rate, back office employment has increased by 8.7 percent, whereas metros growing slower than 5.9 percent have lost 2.4 percent of back office employment over the past three years.

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