the U.S. as a country by doing a lot more of this off shore? We've got a… I know the U.S. hires a lot of offshore programming help from India. Are we the largest nation that employs Indian offshore labor? Are other countries leapfrogging ahead of us? What's it meant for us?
Howard: Yes, actually the U.S…. The U.S. is in an interesting position in a couple of ways. Number one, it's sort of the largest technology work force, sitting with about 2 to 2-1/2 million people in software engineering-related fields. And the U.S. is also facing a labor shortage, saying that there are on the order of 350,000 to 500,000 unfilled jobs. So the U.S. has perhaps the greatest shortage and the greatest need. And I wouldn't use the word shortage, I use the word shortfall, because it's not clear that… They're job vacancies, it's not clear there's the right match between people and skills and what the vacancies are. So the U.S. has this tremendous pressure to fill holes in the labor force. And in fact, going to India, going to the Philippines, is key. And other nations are finding that, too. Germany, for example.
Carol: And we are talking with Howard Rubin on Quality Plus e-Talk! We have to take a break for a few messages, and we'll be back to wrap up with Dr. Howard Rubin.
And we're back for our last segment. We're talking here with Dr. Howard Rubin. Your new company, Howard, is called Rubin Systems. And you're also a META Group research fellow, former Nolan Norton research fellow. You've just been everywhere. And I've often actually said, you know, Howard Rubin is Savoir Faire. Where is Savoir Faire? Savoir Faire is everywhere. Howard Rubin is popping up absolutely everywhere. And we've been talking for the last 40 minutes or so about the digital economy, the cyber mapping of the earth, and I think before we went into break, you were just finishing up, you had started to mention something about Germany that I think people might be interested in.
Howard: Yes, Carol, you had asked me about the issue is the U.S. the greatest employer of sort of offshore labor, whether it's through outsourcing or H-1B visas or whatever. And I guess what I was saying is that U.S. makes extensive use of offshore resources, even by sending the work overseas, whether it be Ireland or India or elsewhere, and a lot of that is a result of economics, clearly, because it is a global market, but number two, the issue of the U.S. IT labor shortfall, as I like to call it. And other nations are starting to see, and Germany's a recent example. I was interviewed by one of the leading business magazines about their changes in policy, because they too realize they need to be competitive in the global new e-economy, and they need access to the work force, and they have a work force shortage, so to be able to bring workers in, they have to be able to change their immigration and work policy laws. So it allows people to move fluidly around between countries and do work, and they're actually working on new ways of bringing in labor from India and other developing nations and other talented work forces that can make up for some degree of their shortfall, without having to send the work offshore, which can lead to other management issues.
Carol: Now, does this give… It sounds really exciting, and for anybody that's not in the information technology industry, who is sitting on the