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Outsourcing jobs brings higher quality work as well as savings to U.S. companies, according to a recent study by the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Researchers surveyed 45 large companies in industries ranging from direct marketing to government and healthcare. The study found that 70 percent reported greater quality of work when outsourcing service jobs. Those who reported greatest satisfaction were companies willing to settle abroad and who had more than a year of offshore experience. But outsourcing has its downside, too. As a 2004 report by the city’s Office of Management and Budget explained, outsourcing boosts the nation’s economy but keeps the employment rate stagnant. The authors predicted that jobs requiring minimal skill will continue to decline due to technological advances and the availability of cheap labor abroad. [08/09/04]