Making Sense of 10.2 Percent Unemployment

By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2009-11-08

Many economists have been expecting overall unemployment numbers to expand above 10 percent for much of 2009. The U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday that those numbers are finally here. As of Oct. 31, unemployment in the United States is the worst it has been in 26 years--now at 10.2 percent.

What does it mean for technology professionals? Well, the picture is shady. This week Microsoft announced more layoffs, as did Nokia Siemens and Real Networks.

The Redmond, Wash. software giant, Microsoft, announced another 800 layoffs this week, which puts its total for 2009 to be more than 5,000 employees cut this year. Historically, MS had not been a company that had layoffs, yet this economy is proving to be tough on even the most resilient of technology companies.

Nokia Siemens announced its plans to eliminate about 6,000 jobs between now and 2010 as it restructures its company from five departments to three. Blaming economic pressures and shrinking revenues, Nokia Siemens is struggling to make its impact in its industry.

Education and Health services is the only category showing any sign of positive gain in the picture, based on numbers released by the U.S. government. The overall picture, however, is not pleasant. Economy watchers Seeking Alpha put it in context which is that unemployment numbers are declining comparatively, but we are still losing jobs and not creating enough to replace them.

Very little to be positive about in this report except that job losses are getting less worse. However as stated numerous times before, less worse does not equal good and definitely not good enough to stop unemployment from rising further in the coming months.

Hard to argue with that.

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