Computer Employment Up, Communications Lags

Logitech employees facing job cuts may find themselves landing on their feet in the near future, given employment data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Although the nation’s unemployment rate remained at 8.2 percent in June, computer and peripheral equipment makers posted a 4 percent increase in June jobs to reach 165,700 positions compared with the same time last year.

“This segment has been on an upward trend for almost a year,” says Bodhi Ganguli, an economist with Moody’s Analytics. “It is being helped by business spending on equipment as they try to squeeze out productivity gains from a stagnant or shrinking workforce.”

He added, however, that this sector is still less than half of the number of workers from the pre-recession employment years.

Here’s how other tech sectors are faring based on seasonally adjusted, non-farm payroll data:

Communications Equipment Woes

The communications sector is still facing a tough go, with employment dropping 6.1 percent to 108,800 jobs in June, compared with the same time last year. And the industry has continued to lose more positions in the last two consecutive months, according to Bureau of Labor Statistic figures.

“This segment has been falling steadily since the beginning of the decade, really,” Ganguli says. “Part of it is outsourcing. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that there is less demand for equipment like handsets. For example, many households no longer have landlines (for phones).”

Semiconductors’ Semi-Sweet Story

Semiconductors and electronic components posted a 1.46 percent year over year decline to 388,400 jobs in June. But the sector showed modest job growth in May. That growth, however, was short-lived and gave up some jobs in June.

“In the near term, the outlook calls for only a modest increase,” Ganguli says. “Europe is a drag and the uncertainty in the U.S. recovery is causing consumers to postpone their smartphone and tablet purchases.”

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