As safety and health pros know all too well white-collar employees have been especially hard hit by the tepid job market. Fortune reports that "of the nine million Americans out of a job, 17.4 percent are managers. . . during the 1990-91 recession, only 10 percent of that group was unemployed."

Fortune finds that the "triple threat" that decimated manufacturing jobs in the 1980s - computerization, tech-led productivity gains, and the relocation of jobs to offshore sites - is now having a similar impact on white-collar employees. Outsourcing of functions such as IT support, computer programming, customer service, and even tax processing to offshore providers indicates that skills and education no longer provide a solid safety net for American white-collar employees.