Labor Dept. Reworks IT Job Categories

Susan Hall

IT analyst firm Foote Partners has been railing for ages that the federal government's method for counting IT workers is woefully outdated.


Now the Labor Department has added four new IT job categories: information security analyst, Web developer, computer network architect and computer network support specialist. (You can find definitions of these jobs here.) The other eight categories have morphed into 12, based on the categories used for the 2010 U.S. census.


In its most recent report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted a drop in IT unemployment during the first quarter to 4.5 percent. It has averaged 5.3 percent for the previous eight quarters, reports InformationWeek.


It reported 3.8 million people employed in IT-related jobs in the United States, broken down this way:

  • Software developers: 25 percent.
  • Computer and information systems managers: 15 percent.
  • Computer support specialists: 13 percent.
  • Computer programmers: 12 percent.
  • Computer systems analysts: 11 percent.
  • Computer occupations, all other: 6 percent.
  • Network and computer systems administrators: 6 percent.
  • Web developers: 4 percent.
  • Database administrators: 4 percent.
  • Computer network architects: 2 percent.
  • Information security analysts: 1 percent.
  • Computer and information research scientists: 0.5 percent.


Note that those positions on the bottom of that list are some of the hardest positions to fill.


And online work doesn't appear on that list at all. GigaOM reports on a quarterly survey by online job site Elance that shows earnings increasing for online workers in 40 out of 50 states. However, from the report, I could never get a good sense of whether those contract jobs paid prevailing wages.

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