Saturday, September 13, 2008

Urban Definition of IT Industry (and cheating on the unemployment statistic)

IT Services, IT industry, IT workforce and just plain IT. The BLS does not have a category called "IT". Where do journalists get this fuzzy "IT" occupational definition?

This CIOInsight article, currently with 21,851 article views, appears to be a primary source for this fuzzy definition of "IT"...

Computer Jobs Hit Record High
By Eric Chabrow

CIO Insight defines "IT" as the BLS definition entitled, Computer Systems Design and Related Services, which is classified as an Industry.

"Not every person employed by IT services firms—officially labeled by the government as computer systems design and related services—is an IT pro, but a majority are."

"The size of the IT workforce in the United States has topped 4 million workers for the first time last quarter, according to CIO Insight’s analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data."

"And the number of employed IT pros reached 3,956,000 in the second quarter of 2008, also a record high."

Four million? CIOInsight has a credibility problem.

Table B-1. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry sector and selected industry detail

Computer systems design and related services............
Unadjusted: August 2008p = 1,427,200
Adjusted: August 2008p = 1,425,900
p = preliminary.

Additionally, the 2006 "Computer systems design and related services" industry is totaled here with All Occupations at 1,278,000 employed.

Next, CIOInsight produces an extremely low unemployment rate for "IT" by using only the unemployment rates for 56% of the occupations, the traditional computer-related occupations with the CIS Managers.

"CIO Insight analyzes these eight occupation categories to determine current IT employment conditions."

Paraphrased list of occupations in CIOInsight "IT" unemployment rate:
computer scientists 15-1011
systems analysts 15-1051
computer programmers 15-1021
computer software engineers 15-1031 and 15-1032 (?)
computer support specialists 15-1041
database administrators 15-1061
network and computer systems administrators 15-1071
network systems and data communications specialists 15-1081
computer and information systems managers 11-3021

Note: The U.S. Department of Labor defines Computer-related occupations:

Computer - Related Occupations

Computer Information Systems Managers would probably be classified under...

Miscellaneous Professional, Technical, and Managerial Occupations

Computer Information System Managers are traditionally classified under...

CEN90 (1990 Census Occupations): 022 Managers and Administrators, N.E.C.

In several instances within the article, the computer-related occupations (with CIS managers) unemployment rate is quoted as the unemployment rate for the "IT" industry. The "IT" quotes are then referenced in other CIO Insight articles.

"The IT unemployment rate inched up one-tenth of a percentage point last quarter to 2.3 percent, but still hovers near historic lows."

"A year earlier, the IT unemployment rate stood at 2.1 percent..."

CIOInsight even converts the bogus unemployment rate back into number of unemployed.

"A year earlier, the IT unemployment rate stood at 2.1 percent, with 3,599,000 workers employed in IT and 77,000 jobless and looking for positions in the field, for an IT workforce size of 3,675,000."

By CIOInsight's own admission, 44% of the "IT" occupation's unemployment rates are not included in CIOInsight's published "IT" unemployment rate.

General and operations managers
Marketing and sales managers
Financial managers
Engineering managers
Human resources, training, and labor relations specialists
Management analysts
Accountants and auditors
Electrical and electronics engineers
Engineering technicians, except drafters
Market research analysts
Graphic designers
Technical writers
Sales representatives, services
Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products
Sales engineers
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
Customer service representatives
Secretaries and administrative assistants
Office clerks, general
Computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers

I don't know what the unemployment rate is for "IT" aka Computer Systems Design and Related Services, but neither does CIOInsight. However, here are the (Unadjusted) unemployment percentages for the Major occupations -- a portion of each is within Computer Systems Design and Related Services.

Occupation _____ Unemployment August 2007 _____ Unemployment August 2008

Management, business, and financial operations occupations _____ 2.4% _____ 2.8%
Professional and related occupations.......................................... _____ 2.8% _____ 3.6 %
Sales and related occupations....................................................... _____4.7% _____ 6.3 %
Office and administrative support occupations......................... _____ 4.2 % _____ 5.6%
Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations.................... _____ 2.8 %_____ 4.4 %

(Note: these are occupational totals not industry totals) (CSDRS "IT"occupations)

Here is some more food for thought, specializes in "IT" employment.

"With more than 2.5 million registered technology candidates, Dice can help you fill your openings quickly and easily."

"Employed - More than 70% of candidates are employed: Dice provides access to harder-to-find, passive candidates. "

The second statement also implies less than 71% are employed: meaning more than 29% of the candidates are not-employed.

2.5million * 29% = 725,000 not-employed on

Quoted are the two methodology paragraphs on the CIOInsight unemployment rate claims and the arbitrary exclusion of the unemployment rate(s) for 44% of the "IT" industry.

"Besides the establishment survey, the government also queries 60,000 households to determine employment and unemployment in the U.S. For our analysis, we use a BLS quarterly report that aggregates the monthly reports and details employment in hundreds of occupation categories. The government tracks seven major computer-related job categories: 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 specialists plus computer and information systems managers."

"CIO Insight analyzes these eight occupation categories to determine current IT employment conditions. Because these IT professions comprises less than 3 percent of the overall workforce, and each occupation category’s size on its own would be statistically unreliable, CIO Insight aggregates the last four quarters to determine each quarter’s workforce, employment and unemployment levels. For example, we added BLS data from the last two quarters of 2007 and the first two quarters of 2008 then divided by four to determine second-quarter 2008 data. Statisticians and economists say aggregating four quarters worth of data makes them more statically reliable than just using one quarter’s worth of data.

"Here are other article quotes spreading the mythical "IT" unemployment rate:

The New IT Worker Shortage
By Eric Chabrow

"A record 3.76 million workers in the U.S. held IT jobs last year, according to a CIO Insight analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. That's a whopping 8.5 percent increase from 2006. The rapid growth in employment lowered last year's IT unemployment rate to 2.1 percent, from 2.5 percent in 2006, the lowest level recorded since the government redefined IT occupations in 2000. As a comparison, overall employment in the U.S. in 2007 stood at 4.6 percent, unchanged from 2006."

Damn the Economy! IT Employment Rises to New Heights
By Eric Chabrow

"Joblessness among American IT workers averaged 2.1 percent last year, down from 2.5 percent in 2006. That's the lowest unemployment rate for IT pros since the government began using the current method to track employment in 2000, when IT joblessness stood at 2.2 percent."

1 comment:

Computer Support said...

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