Feeds

US job cuts slow in April

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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.