Revenues Up, Jobs Cut at U.S. Wireless Carriers

Wireless revenues reached nearly $160 billion last year, according to CTIA-The Wireless Association.

Yet, the number of jobs at U.S. wireless carriers is disappearing in the wireless industry, according to The Wall Street Journals analysis of U.S. Department of Labor figures released this month. In May, employment fell to a 12-year low of 166,600, representing roughly 20,000 fewer jobs than when the recession ended in June 2009, the Journal reported.

But the numbers may be misleading. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics counted only 172,000 wireless carrier employees at the end of last year, a CTIA survey found that more than 250,000 individuals were employed at U.S. wireless carriers at year end, according to Robert Roche, head of CTIAs Research Department, in a blog posting last week.

What explains the discrepancy between the Labor Department and CTIA numbers? Different approaches and different definitions,” Roche wrote. In each case, the surveys captured part of a greater ecosystem and the CTIA survey captured a greater part of the wireless carrier share of that ecosystem than the” Labor Departments Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Roche also said that CTIAs survey doesnt tell the whole story because it excludes other wireless-related jobs, such as at tower construction and maintenance companies and independent and large retailers that sell wireless products and services.

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