Tech & Work

Unemployment rate jumps higher, but some IT jobs show strength

The economy lost 651,000 jobs in February, the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.1 percent and the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised December and January job counts sharply. But the information technology industry's job picture looks decidedly better in some areas.

This is a guest post from Larry Dignan, Editor-in-Chief of TechRepublic's sister site ZDNet. You can follow Larry on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines (or subscribe to the RSS feed).

As expected, the Department of Labor's February jobs report Friday was a train wreck. The economy lost 651,000 jobs in February, the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.1 percent and the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised December and January job counts sharply. But the information technology industry's job picture looks decidedly better in some areas.

It's hard to find a few bright spots when 651,000, 681,000 and 655,000 jobs were lost in February, January and December, respectively. However, the data indicates that there are more computer systems design and consulting services gigs than a year ago. There are also more communications equipment manufacturing jobs than a year ago.

Other areas in the tech industry lost jobs, but it clearly could have been worse. Here are the Bureau of Labor Statistics' release and PDF tables. My excerpt of those tables along with my notes are below (click to enlarge).

Also see: CBS News.com: Unemployment Hits 8.1 Percent and layoffs by industry graphic

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