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U.S. Employment: October Gains Wipe Out Bad September

Guy on phone with laptop excitedA closer look at the information sector shows that its unemployment rate has dropped, as has its count of unemployed persons. In October 2016, this sector claimed 114,000 unemployed with an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent. For October 2017, those numbers decline to 105,000 unemployed and 3.9 percent. That puts sector size for last year at 2.78 million, and sector size for this year at 2.69 million.


Thus, the number of jobs in IT”s home sector has also declined to the tune of 90,000 jobs over the same time period. But Information is not the only sector wherein IT people work: CompTIA estimates that as many jobs in IT fall outside the sector as fall within it.


They see IT jobs up in the areas of hardware (computer, electronics and semiconductor manufacturing, +4,700), Data processing and hosting (+1,100), other info services, including portals (+200), and in IT and software services/computer systems design (+3,700).


Telecommunications offsets that total gain of 9,700 jobs with a loss of 5,000 jobs for a net sector gain of 4,700 jobs for October. That’s a bit better for the month than it has been for a while, but not enough to set anybody’s world on fire.


All this said, we’re seeing a few more positive signs of economic growth in the data in the last month’s numbers. The long term trend of slow, steady growth continues, but the pace appears to be picking up a tiny bit and to have shaken off the downward blip that the hurricanes left behind.


Here’s hoping that the oncoming holiday season sends a tide that lifts all boats, and the economy, into a stronger situation for 2018.



ed-tittel120Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed blogs on certification topics for Tom’s IT Pro, and on Windows desktop OS topics for TechTarget. Check out his website at