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Computer software engineers are projected to be one of the fastest growing occupation

 
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Is it inaccurate for the Labor Department�s statistics to state the following? "Computer software engineers are projected to be one of the fastest growing occupations over the 2002-12 period."

These are not estimates from 2000, they are estimates from 2002.



Here is the Link
 
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I think that's an outdated document. Another thread around here someplace has a Bureau of Labor Statistics page indicating that various medical jobs are now projected to be the fastest growing.
[ September 24, 2004: Message edited by: Warren Dew ]
 
Jesse Torres
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:
I think that's an outdated document. Another thread around here someplace has a Bureau of Labor Statistics page indicating that various medical jobs are now projected to be the fastest growing.

[ September 24, 2004: Message edited by: Warren Dew ]



If you or someone else happens to find that thread, please provide a link.

Thanks,
 
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It might be true if we compare software engineering to other occupations, however the supply of software engineers is significantly higher. What matters is demand, not rate of grow.
 
Jesse Torres
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:
I think that's an outdated document. Another thread around here someplace has a Bureau of Labor Statistics page indicating that various medical jobs are now projected to be the fastest growing.

[ September 24, 2004: Message edited by: Warren Dew ]



I found the thread, here it is:

It still points out to optimism in Software Engineering. I'm not talking about the first post on that thread.
[ September 24, 2004: Message edited by: Jesse Torres ]
 
Warren Dew
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I would also note that 2002 is probably the bottom of the post dot com bust ... there has already been significant growth in IT employment compred to then.

Edit: note that "job growth" doesn't necessarily mean it's a good career. If the job growth is mostly recovery of jobs that previously disappeared, there might still be plenty of qualified people around to take those jobs when they reappear.
[ September 24, 2004: Message edited by: Warren Dew ]
 
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I doubt the BLS or the agency creating the forecasts has ever factored in
a phenom like offshoring. How can they predict what's never happened before? How can they predict the supply of capable Indians/Chinese/Eastern Block/Russians available?

I don't think they can make that pediction. They are predicting demand for software and back calculating labor demand.
 
Jesse Torres
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If indeed there is a reversal trend in offshoring, then IT jobs might thrive very soon here in America. Who knows, there might even be an IT labor shortage (I�m probably dreaming)!
[ September 24, 2004: Message edited by: Jesse Torres ]
 
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:
I would also note that 2002 is probably the bottom of the post dot com bust ... there has already been significant growth in IT employment compred to then.

Edit: note that "job growth" doesn't necessarily mean it's a good career. If the job growth is mostly recovery of jobs that previously disappeared, there might still be plenty of qualified people around to take those jobs when they reappear.

[ September 24, 2004: Message edited by: Warren Dew ]



Can anyone give any factual data to support positive job growth in IT since 2002?

If such data could be produced I wonder what percentage of the hiring would be for networking related work or security? IT lost 18.8% of its jobs between March 2001 and April 2004(http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/190813_hightech15.html), and it would have to grow 37.6% just to break even. So even if it managed to grow 37.6% there would have been NO net increase in IT jobs!

The news I see seems bad: 250,000 jobs offshored this year alone, 10,000 offshored in this month http://www.washtech.org/news/industry/display.php?ID_Content=4684
[ September 25, 2004: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
Warren Dew
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I looked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics site, and the closest I could find were unemployment rates in the information industry (went to http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cpsatab11.htm and did the appropriate searches). Looking at the August numbers (because August is the most recent month available), unemployment peaked in 2002 at 7.1%, and has fallen to 5.7% in 2004. This is still significantly higher than the 3.7% rate in 2000, near the peak of the internet bubble. By year:

Information industry unemployment rate
2000 3.7%
2001 5.4%
2002 7.1%
2003 6.1%
2004 5.7%

So either there has been job growth since 2002 or people have been getting out of the industry even faster than the jobs have been going away.
 
Jesse Torres
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:

So either there has been job growth since 2002 or people have been getting out of the industry even faster than the jobs have been going away.



I know that school enrollment is down 20% for BS / CS. I just hope that things improve soon.
[ September 25, 2004: Message edited by: Jesse Torres ]
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:
I looked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics site, and the closest I could find were unemployment rates in the information industry (went to http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cpsatab11.htm and did the appropriate searches). Looking at the August numbers (because August is the most recent month available), unemployment peaked in 2002 at 7.1%, and has fallen to 5.7% in 2004. This is still significantly higher than the 3.7% rate in 2000, near the peak of the internet bubble. By year:

Information industry unemployment rate
2000 3.7%
2001 5.4%
2002 7.1%
2003 6.1%
2004 5.7%

So either there has been job growth since 2002 or people have been getting out of the industry even faster than the jobs have been going away.



The information field is broad, and although most of us here at Javaranch are primarily concerned with application development, the information industry can also include people having nothing to do with application development such as fairly low-skilled computer operators (http://www.doleta.gov/BRG/IndProf/ITJobTypes.cfm), systems admins, and networking people, technical support specialists, help-desk technicians, etc. The help desk group alone could account for most of the drop in IT unemployment.

More troubling is that there are several classifcations of industries that include IT that the government uses that mixes in other people we don't usually consider IT although they do work with "information" :
Sales and finance people, secretaries, etc,(http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs033.htm),
Math, science, and actuary people (http://www.bls.gov/soc/soc_c0a0.htm;
although its not clear if this grouping is used in all places (but see http://www.bls.gov/soc/home.htm ). Even more vague is the defintion of the information industry at http://www.bls.gov/iag/information.htm .

In any event, rather than indirectly estimating job growth through unemployment rate (which is problematical since we son't know number of people leaving industry) we can see that for specific occupations the number of people that are employed has decreased. For computer programmers, the number decreased 25,000+ from 2002 to 2003 (start here http://www.bls.gov/oes/home.htm) . This is despite the fact that the unemployment rate was decreasing overall for IT as Warren noted. I wouldn't get to happy about any temporary jumps in IT employment either, since the negative growth rate of 18.8% for the past 3 years, means that even if we increase by 37.6% this year (it cannot happen) there has been no net job growth for the prior 4 years. Imagine the net result if we use more optimistically realistic job growth figures, say 5%. Then we're talking about years and years of no net job growth.
 
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