office-workersm.jpgAs the U.S. economy slowly rebounds, companies are increasingly relying on a decentralized workforce of home-based call centers — in America. The old mantra: route service calls overseas to cut costs in half. The new idea: bring call centers back home, but not to bulky, brick-and-mortar phone banks. Use hourly workers sitting in home offices, managed on someone else’s payroll.

Projections show the number of U.S. home-based call agents growing at an annual clip of 20% between 2009 and 2012, from about 50,000 to more than 80,000. That’s much faster than the growth rate for calling centers in India (4%) and the Philippines (9%), though foreign outsourcing remains a more popular and cheaper corporate option.

(READ more in Time magazine)

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