The IT Sector Creates Jobs In July, Boosting A Jittery and Jumpy Economy
August 8, 2011 Timothy Prickett Morgan
If you have a job, no matter how much it might annoy you, it is a good thing. Having two, like I have to so the ends will meet somewhere not near the poorhouse (as if the world had those any more) is probably a better idea, if you have the energy or time. There are still 13.9 million unemployed people in the United States, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it doesn’t look like either they or those who dropped out of the statistics because they have stopped looking for work will find jobs any time soon.
Small wonder Wall Street doesn’t know what else to do but start firing people, which is sure to aggravate the 9.1 percent unemployment rate a tad. And more than a few Lexus, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes dealers in Manhattan, Connecticut, and Long Island.
Just to keep up with population growth, the United States needs to add around 200,000 new workers each month, and after shedding an average of around 400,000 workers per month during the darkest days of the Great Recession, it will take a long time to get us back to around 7 million or so unemployed workers that represent the structural unemployment levels in this country. President Obama will be seeking his third (and currently illegal) term by the time that could happen, or President Romney his second term.
The good news in the July jobs report from the BLS, which you can read here, is that the numbers for May and June for net-new jobs were increased and the July numbers were higher than expected, too. After the stock market lost more than 500 points on Thursday, this was some welcome news as Europe is struggling to contain its debt crisis and the U.S. Congress and President Obama are gearing up for Round Two of their own. The smart thing at this point as far as I can tell is to create a derivatives fund that trades on the amplitude (not the direction) of the stock volatility index. It is really the only safe bet for a lot of complex reasons. Then again, I don’t believe in safe bets. I only believe in action and inaction, and the thing I do is keep as many people employed as I can and work as hard as I can at my other job.
The IT portions of the American labor force seem to be holding up better than other areas, so that is good news for you and me and all of us. Computer and peripheral equipment makers added a mere 200 employees in the U.S. during July, with a total worker base of 171,900 according to the BLS. Communication equipment makers cut 1,700 workers (to 117,300), while semiconductor and electronic component makers added 3,000 workers (to 388,400). Hosting companies shed 2,200 workers (to 238,500) and telcos cut 3,200 (to 862,800).
Data processing and hosting vendors and telecom companies both shed jobs, and I think this has to do with telcos and cable operators buying up IT hosting vendors in recent months (although I can’t prove it).
As has been the case since the recovery from the Great Recession started in late 2009, computer system designers and architects are doing comparatively well in terms of an expanding workforce, with 11,200 new employees added to the 1.52 million pool. Companies in the management and technical consulting services racket also added 7,900 workers, with a pool just over 1 million workers.
None of this data, which is broken out by industry, says who got hired and fired by job type inside any of these companies. I would love to see how many programmers, analysts, project managers, CIOs, and so forth there are in the country and how those jobs have gone up and down over the past decade. This would be truly useful information that could be used to help us plan careers.