Unemployment rate for electrical engineers skyrockets to record 7%

The unemployment rate for electrical engineers (EEs) shot up to an unprecedented 7.0% in the first quarter of 2003 (1Q03), according to data from U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and reported by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE, New York, N.

06/01/2003


The unemployment rate for electrical engineers (EEs) shot up to an unprecedented 7.0% in the first quarter of 2003 (1Q03), according to data from U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and reported by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE, New York, N.Y.).

Though the rate stood at 3.9% in the previous quarter (4Q02), it is now a full percentage point above the quarterly figure for all workers. EE's previous high jobless rate was 4.8% in 2Q02. However, it's difficult to compare these figures because the BLS recently revamped its occupational classifications and reporting conventions to produce more detailed and accurate reports.

BLS' report also showed an unemployment rate for computer software engineers at 7.5% and at 6.5% for computer hardware engineers, which are two of the bureau's new occupational categories. Computer scientists, including systems analysts, showed a slight improvement in joblessness, dropping from 5.1% at the end of 2002 to 4.9% presently. Computer programmers recorded a 1Q02 unemployment rate of 6.7%.

When the number of unemployed EEs is added to each of the computer-related categories, it shows that 172,000 high-tech professionals are out of work. Computer software engineers led the way with 62,000 unemployed.





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