IT Industry Fails to Keep Pace

By Eric Chabrow  |  Posted 06-06-2007

IT Industry Fails to Keep Pace

Employment growth among America's IT producers—the companies that manufacture computer hardware, create software and provide a wide-range of information services—failed to keep pace with payrolls from all nonfarm industries over the past five years, according to a CIO Insight analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

While overall nonfarm payrolls advanced by nearly 5.8 percent between May 2002 and last month, employment among the amalgamation of IT sectors grew a mere 2.3 percent to 2.2 million jobs.

But not all computer sectors are created—or created jobs—equally. Sectors furnishing customer computer programming and systems design services did the best, combining to add more than 180,000 jobs. But computer and peripheral manufacturers shed nearly 55,000 jobs during that same period.

Take a look at this slide show to see where the job growth is—and where it's not—within the broad IT industry.

Next page: Select Sectors Defined

Select Sectors Defined

Select Sectors Defined

Custom Computer Programming Services write, modify, test and support software to meet the needs of a particular customer.

Computer Systems Design Services plan and design computer systems that integrate computer hardware, software and communications technologies.

Computer Facilities Management Services provide onsite management and operation of clients' computer systems and facilities, as well as facilities support services.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Next page: The Fine Print

The Fine Print

The Fine Print

Jobs within these businesses aren't all technical; they include administrative, marketing, sales and support positions. But the bulk of the jobs in each sector are technical.

Because large IT companies could employ workers in several sectors, their employment could be scattered among different categories, based on individual worksites. For example, IBM employees designing, manufacturing and selling eServers would be grouped within the Computer and Peripheral Manufacturers category, while those employed by the unit that creates and supports WebSphere middleware would be placed within the Software Publishers group.

Next page: Methodology

Methodology

Methodology

Each month the Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzes payroll records from some 160,000 businesses and government agencies covering about 400,000 individual worksites. The active sample includes about one-third of all nonfarm payroll workers. The sample is drawn from a sampling frame of unemployment insurance tax accounts.

All payroll figures are for May of given year; 2007 figures are preliminary.