IT Unemployment On the Rise
Bureau of Labor Statistics says the unemployment rate for electrical and computer engineers rose last quarter.The unemployment rate for electrical engineers shot up to an unprecedented 7 percent in the first quarter of 2003, up from 3.9 in the fourth quarter of 2002, according to the U.S. Department of Labors Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate stands a full percentage point over the quarterly figure for all workers. The BLS report, which was highlighted in a press release issued by the IEEE this week, also showed that the unemployment rate is 7.5 percent for computer software engineers and 6.5 percent for computer hardware engineers. The rate for computer programmers was 6.7 percent. One bright spot was the employment picture for technology workers was that with the unemployment rate for computer scientistsincluding systems analystsdropped from 5.1 percent to 4.9 percent.
The total number of unemployed technology workers in those job categories is now 172,000 individuals, with 62,000 unemployed computer software engineers forming the bulk of that group.