Five US technical job classifications show employment drop, one shows steep increase


WASHINGTON (15 June 2005) -- Five major engineering and computer job classifications showed a drop in employment in the first quarter of 2005 vs. the 2004 average, while one showed a large increase, according to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The biggest drop was among computer hardware engineers (18,000), followed by computer software engineers (13,000), computer programmers (8,000), electrical and electronics engineers (8,000) and computer and information systems managers (5,000). Contrasted with this loss of 52,000 jobs, the BLS reported a gain of 54,000 jobs among computer scientists and systems analysts.

"While we are encouraged by the employment growth among computer scientists and systems analysts, the continuing shrinkage of other technical specialties signals that all is not well in electrotechnology professions," IEEE-USA President Gerard A. Alphonse said.

Percentage-wise, the computer hardware engineers workforce declined by 18.8 percent, while computer scientists and systems analysts experienced 7.7 percent growth. The other four job classifications fell modestly, and the overall increase in technical employment was less than one percent (0.1).

This table summarizes the BLS data:

Job Classification    2004Avg    1Q2005    Change    Pct.   
Computer Hardware Engineers 96,000 78,000 -18,000 -18.8
Computer & Info. Systems Managers 337,000 332,000 -5,000 -1.5
Computer Programmers 564,000 556,000 -8,000 -1.4
Computer Scientists & Systems Analysts    700,000 754,000 +54,000 +7.7
Computer Software Engineers 813,000 800,000 -13,000 -1.6
Electrical & Electronics Engineers 343,000 335,000 -8,000 -2.3
Total 2,853,000 2,855,000 +2,000 +0.1

Source: Eurekalert & others

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