Daniel Drezner has an interesting post on a study done by the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (affiliated with AFL-CIO) stating that unemployment figures for tech workers, including programmers, are huge (6.7%) whereas during the recession it wasn't as bad (2.5% in 2001).
The only paragraph supporting their claim that offshore outsourcing is a major cause of this dirth of jobs is void of any real connection between the two.
Drezner is skeptical. So am I.
I'm not surprised that it took until after 2001 for all the programmers that were in employment because of the big tech boom of the 90s to finally get canned. A typical employer is not so crass as to fire an employee the minute the economy takes a down turn. They try to ride the storm to a certain extent. But after 9/11 I'm sure the jobs started to take a mighty turn downward.
Also, I have an anecdodal experience with the GIS Programming industry. In addition to our own efforts to hire someone a couple of years ago and finding no one in the US (at least those who applied) we really liked (we hired Canadian that time), I know a company here in town that has been looking for a couple of GIS Programmers. They haven't seen any worthy applications yet. Are there really any qualified applicants here in the US, or is that why they are going out of country?