Feeds

US tech-sector job stats flattened by Verizon strike

High Stateside unemployment stubbornly unchanged

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A strike by 45,000 workers at telecom giant Verizon helped flatten job creation in the US economy in August – literally. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has issued its monthly jobs report, and says that not only did the US economy fail to add any net-new workers last month, it also revised the number of jobs created in June and July downwards.

The BLS is part of the US Department of Labor, and it does surveys of employers to figure out how many jobs are created and surveys of households to calculate the unemployment rate. The jobs report counts workers in government and private industry, factoring out farm workers who work seasonally. (Or at least used to. The reality of the modern family farm is that farmer families have second full-time jobs to make ends meet.)

In August, if you factor out the job cuts by local, state, and federal governments, then the private sector – excluding farmers – added a meager 17,000 jobs in August. It is generally agreed that the US economy needs to add around 200,000 jobs per month to just keep pace with population growth, and it would need at least two or three times that rate to make a dent in the pool of 14 million unemployed workers that the government acknowledges exists. And it would need even more than that to find work for those who have fallen out of the statistics altogether because they have stopped looking for work.

After revisions in its employment model, the BLS says that the US economy created 85,000 fewer jobs in June and July, with only 20,000 net new jobs in June (including government workers) and 85,000 in July.

The unemployment rate is derived from the household survey and remained the same at 9.1 per cent, where it has been stuck for several months.

Last month, the healthcare sector added 30,000 jobs, with the mining industry adding 8,000 and those in the professional and business services adding 8,000. The information sector – which includes publishing in its many forms, telecommunications, data processing and hosting – took a 48,000 whack in August thanks to the Verizon strike, which is over at the moment. Manufacturers chopped 3,000 workers last month.

The BLS does not track job creation and destruction by title, so we cannot get a direct sense of how the IT career track is faring compared to alternatives. But we can drill down into the establishment data – as the employer survey data and its model is called – to see how IT vendors are doing.

Within the manufacturing sector, there were 1.13 million people employed making computer and electronic products, up a mere 700 according to the BLS model compared to the revised July report. Within this group, computer and peripheral makers cut 300 jobs, to leave a total of 172,600 workers, and communication equipment makers cut 200 jobs, to 117,100 workers. Semiconductor and electronic component makers added 2,700 workers to make 390,600.

In the information sector, the telecom industry actually cut 3,000 jobs as well as having 45,000 workers on strike at Verizon, to give a total of 814,600 workers getting paychecks last month. Companies that run data processing and hosting businesses cut 600 jobs, to 238,100.

Firms engaged in computer systems design and related services added 9,900 workers in August, with 1.52 million total workers. Management and technical consulting firms, which often have an IT component to their work, added 3,100 workers, giving them a total of just over 1 million total employees. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.