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Accenture to add thousands of US jobs as Trump effect spreads to IT

Accenture has promised to create more jobs in the US and invest $1.4bn in skills development

Accenture has pledged to create 15,000 highly skilled jobs in the US in the latest sign that president Donald Trump’s desire to make more things in America spreads to the IT sector.

The IT services giant also said it would spend $1.4bn in training staff in the US.

Although not cited by Accenture as a reason for its US investment, Trump’s election on the promise of bringing offshored jobs back to the US will make IT services firms look to base more of their workers near their large US-based customers. Trump wants more of the manufactured products and business services used in the US to be made in and delivered from the country.

Traditionally, IT services firms would increase staff numbers in locations such as India because of the lower costs and plentiful supply of talent. But Trump’s election could see more new roles based in the US, where companies such as Accenture derive a large proportion of their revenue.

“In recent months, I have met with clients across all the major industries we serve, and the need for innovation to grow, compete and transform in the digital economy has never been greater,” said Julie Sweet, Accenture’s CEO in North America. “Accenture is a leader in digital, cloud and security-related services, and with this announcement, we are accelerating our investments in innovation in the US.”

About 130,000 of Accenture’s 400,000-strong global workforce are in India, and many of them serve US clients. The company’s new investment and job creation will reduce its reliance on this overseas workforce.

The new jobs will increase Accenture’s US workforce to more than 65,000 by the end of 2020, a 30% increase on today’s staff numbers.

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And US-based suppliers are not alone in experiencing the Trump effect, with Indian IT services firms such as Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro, which have huge customer bases in the US, likely to suffer.

In November 2016, Gartner analyst Arup Roy said India-based suppliers would be hit the hardest. “The Indian IT sector must now brace for further troubled times ahead,” he said.

Roy said Indian companies should not, for example, expect double-digit sales revenue growth this year, adding: “A sub-10% growth for 2017 is certain.”

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