Technology Unemployment Rises in Q3

The IT sector may be better off than others, but it continues to experience job loss levels not seen in six years. A number of reports and analyses confirm that nearly every segment in technology has been affected by the recession.

Technology job loss has risen in the last quarter to 5 percent, says an article in Looking at data provided by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the article pegs technology job loss at the highest levels in roughly six years.
Industry trade group TechAmerica Foundation recently published a report showing that technology is faring better than most industries. GovInfoSecurity's analysis backs that up, though it is not as rosy in its assessment:

""Annualized unemployment stood at 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2009. ... A year ago, annualized joblessness among IT pros stood at 2.3 percent. These numbers show that the IT profession, like most other occupations, has experienced significant job losses caused by the recession, although declines in the IT field are nowhere near as dire as in the overall workforce. Last month, overall unemployment rose to 9.8 percent, the highest rate since June 1983."Still, there was no good news in the IT numbers. In the past year, some 100,000 IT workers joined the ranks of the unemployed. And the size of the IT workforce-those holding jobs and the unemployed seeking IT work-fell to below 4 million for the first time in five quarters. Annualized, IT employment stood at 3,775,000 last quarter, with 198,000 out of working and hunting for jobs.""

In its report, TechAmerica looked between June 2008 and June 2009 and reported that "tech lost 224,100 jobs, a 3.7 percent workforce decline. Over the same time period the U.S. private sector shed jobs at a higher pace-5.1 percent."
Why the discrepancy in the numbers? Because the data GovInfoSecurity analyzes does not include technology manufacturing jobs-an area of large job loss in the last year. In addition, the two reports are looking at different quarters.
"The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks more than 400 occupation titles, including eight involving information technology: computer and information systems managers, computer scientists and systems analysts, computer programmers, computer software engineers, computer support specialists, database administrators, network and computer systems administrators, and network systems and data communications analysts," says the GovInfoSecurity article.
September saw more computer and technology manufacturing job losses.
"The IT sector took its share of the hits, as it has done since the recession started. In September, computer and electronics products makers shed 10,600 jobs, to an employee pool just over 1.1 million workers. Computer and peripheral equipment makers let go 1,500 workers within this larger grouping, communications equipment makers cut 400 jobs, and semiconductor and component makers in the States axed 2,500 employees," writes The Register's Timothy Prickett Morgan.