Feeds

US job cuts slow in April

Light at end of tunnel may not be a train, for once

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

In what is probably the first good news on the jobs front that the US economy has seen since last spring, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported its unemployment figures for April.

Although the number out of work rose, the job cuts were lower than expected, perhaps indicating that the rate of the collapse in the economy has slowed.

The news is still not great, of course, with another 539,000 people losing their jobs, and the overall unemployment rate increasing from 8.5 per cent in March to 8.9 per cent for April. But this was less than the 620,000 job losses predicted by some economists.

As often is the case, the BLS has monkeyed around with past numbers, boosting the job losses from March to 699,000 from the originally reported 663,000. Perversely, the February numbers were revised down to 651,000 from 681,000, almost wiping out the increase in job cuts. Since the recession began in December 2007, 5.7 million people are reported to have lost their jobs.*

Because the monthly BLS report tracks jobs and cuts by industry - well, it does surveys and creates a model and then does some "seasonal adjustment" magic to these numbers - you can sort of get a sense of conditions in the IT vendor community by looking at sections of the report, which you can read in full here.

Ignoring seasonal adjustments (which seems wise considering the declining and unstable nature of the economy in the past several months), computer and peripheral equipment makers shed 3,000 jobs, leaving 170,200 total employees still on the payrolls. Communications equipment makers added 400 jobs (to 128,400), but semiconductor and electronic component makers shed 7,700 jobs (leaving 388,800). Telecommunications companies laid off 9,800 employees in April (cutting the national payroll in this category to 986,300), and companies engaged in data processing, hosting, and related services shed 500 jobs to 254,800. Computer systems design and related services, a big portion of the IT vendor economy, accounted for only 700 job losses, with 1.45 million people still engaged in this activity.

All in all, it could have been worse. And in fact, it has been. We'll see what May and June bring. Perhaps some revisions that make April look better or worse than the first pass done this morning. ®

* In a modern computerized age, it is a wonder, considering all of the forms that employers have to file to be in business and pay their employees, that we do not have a precise number culled from payroll processors and home-grown payroll systems. This number would be precise and accurate the first time, and moreover, would be an accurate count of the number of people employed, what industries they are in, and what their jobs are in fairly precise categories.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.