Feeds

US census inflates latest employment numbers

Computer makers add, service providers cut jobs

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The good news is that employment in the US is up. The bad news is that most of the rise is due to temporary government head-counters.

Barack Obama doesn't have a lot to be thankful for since moving into the White House a year and a half ago, what with the economic meltdown, the mess of healthcare reform, and now the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico. But 2010 is the year a census of the population has to be taken, and that means hiring enough full-time — though temporary — workers to make it feel like the Obama stimulus package is having the desired effect on the US economy.

The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics put out its monthly jobs report Friday, which you can see here, and the payrolls at companies and government agencies (excluding farm workers, who are counted separately) swelled by 431,000 people in May. But 411,000 of them were temporary employees hired in May by Uncle Sam to do the body count and get Americans to fill out some modest paperwork. (All told, 564,000 people have been added to the federal government's payroll to take the census.)

The unemployment rate ticked down a tiny bit, to 9.7 per cent, a rate that prevailed in the first three months of the year. There are now 15 million people who are unemployed and looking for work in the States, with 6.8 million being out of work for more than 27 weeks. There are another 8.8 million people who are working part-time because they can't get full-time work, but this number fell by 343,000 in May. There are another 2.2 million people who are "marginally attached" to the labor force, meaning they looked for a job in the past year, but gave up looking recently.

The BLS says that manufacturers added 29,000 jobs, and the IT portion of the American manufacturing base did its part. Computer and electronic products manufacturers had just under 1.1 million workers, adding 4,500. Within this group, computer and peripheral equipment makers added 1,600 jobs and communications equipment makers added 1,800. Semiconductor companies, which are also doing better these days, added 1,000 jobs in May, according to the BLS.

Telecommunications companies continue to shed jobs, with the labor pool at 927,700 workers, down 1,700 in May and 49,200 since May 2009. Data processing and hosting companies handed out 2,500 pink slips last month, bringing the aggregate payroll down to 247,900.

In the services sector, companies in the computer systems design and related services area employed 4,000 fewer people at the end of May than they did at the end of April, with a total employee base approaching 1.44 million people. Management and technical consulting services firms actually added people - 1,200 to be precise - to 977,600.

As El Reg usually points out when going over the jobs report from the BLS, it would be exceedingly useful to have jobs counted up by title, not by industry. When planning and navigating a career it would be great to know how many programmers, system administrators, IT managers, project managers, and so forth an economy doesn't need as economic conditions head south - and needs when the economy strengthens. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.