Industries at a Glance

Telecommunications: NAICS 517

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About the Telecommunications subsector

The telecommunications subsector is part of the information sector.

Industries in the Telecommunications subsector group establishments that provide telecommunications and the services related to that activity (e.g., telephony, including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP); cable and satellite television distribution services; Internet access; telecommunications reselling services). The Telecommunications subsector is primarily engaged in operating, and/or providing access to facilities for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies.

North American Industry Classification System

The telecommunications subsector consists of these industry groups:

Workforce Statistics

This section provides information relating to employment and unemployment in telecommunications. While most data are obtained from employer or establishment surveys, information on industry unemployment comes from a national survey of households. The following tables present an overview of the industry including the number of jobs, the unemployment rate of those previously employed in the industry, union membership and representation, data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Employment and Unemployment

Data series Back
data
Mar.
2014
Apr.
2014
May
2014
Jun.
2014

Employment (in thousands)

Employment, all employees (seasonally adjusted)

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854.6 853.8 (P) 849.8 (P) 850.0

Employment, production and nonsupervisory employees

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720.3 718.9 (P) 712.2

Unemployment

Unemployment rate

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3.8% 3.9% 2.2% 3.6%

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics, Current Population Survey

Union Membership and Representation

Data series Back
data
2010 2011 2012 2013

Union membership and representation

Members of unions (percent of wage and salary workers)

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15.8% 15.6% 15.6% 14.4%

Represented by unions (percent of wage and salary workers)

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16.8% 16.4% 16.8% 15.4%

(Source: Current Population Survey)

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2013

Customer service representatives

97,420

Electronics engineers, except computer

23,900

First-line supervisors/managers of office and administrative support workers

12,670

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers

146,830

Telecommunications line installers and repairers

68,980

Telephone operators

3,420

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Projections

For projected (future) employment estimates, see the National Employment Matrix, which includes employment estimates by industry and occupation for telecommunications.

(Source: Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections)

Earnings and Hours

This section presents data on employee earnings and weekly hours. The latest industry averages of hourly earnings and weekly hours, as well as weekly earnings by union membership status, are shown. In addition, recent hourly and annual earnings are shown for occupations commonly found in telecommunications.

Earnings and Hours of All Employees

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data
Feb.
2014
Mar.
2014
Apr.
2014
May
2014

Average hourly earnings

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$30.19 $31.49 $31.51 (P) $31.13

Average weekly hours

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38.7 38.7 38.7 (P) 38.5

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings and Hours of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees

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data
Feb.
2014
Mar.
2014
Apr.
2014
May
2014

Average hourly earnings

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$26.07 $25.97 $25.70 (P) $25.57

Average weekly hours

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39.3 39.1 39.4 (P) 39.0

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Union Membership and Representation

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data
Median weekly earnings
2010 2011 2012 2013

Union membership and representation

Full-time workers

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$987 $987 $1,064 $1,129

Members of unions

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$1,039 $1,113 $1,162 $1,162

Represented by unions

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$1,023 $1,109 $1,163 $1,155

Nonunion

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$974 $950 $1,039 $1,123

(Source: Current Population Survey)

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2013
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

Customer service representatives

$16.42 $18.23 $34,150 $37,910

Electronics engineers, except computer

$41.26 $42.50 $85,830 $88,390

First-line supervisors/managers of office and administrative support workers

$29.15 $30.06 $60,630 $62,520

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers

$27.87 $26.79 $57,980 $55,720

Telecommunications line installers and repairers

$30.31 $28.05 $63,040 $58,350

Telephone operators

$18.35 $18.28 $38,170 $38,020

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Work-related Fatalities, Injuries, and Illnesses

This section presents data for the industry on the number of workplace fatalities and the rates of workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers in telecommunications. An injury or illness is considered to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition.

Data series 2009 2010 2011 2012

Fatalities

Number of fatalities

19 20 21 11

Rate of injury and illness cases per 100 full-time workers

Total recordable cases

(1) 2.4 (1) 2.2 2.1 2.0

Cases involving days away from work, job restriction, or transfer

(1) 1.5 (1) 1.6 1.4 1.4

Cases involving days away from work

(1) 1.1 (1) 1.2 1.0 1.1

Cases involving days of job transfer or restriction

(1) 0.4 (1) 0.4 0.4 0.3

Footnotes
(1) Industry scope changed in 2009

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

(Source: Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities)

Prices

This section provides industry-specific pricing information. The producer price index measures the percentage change in prices that domestic producers receive for goods and services. The prices included in the producer price index are from the first commercial transaction.

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data
Mar.
2014
Apr.
2014
May
2014
Jun.
2014

Producer price index

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(P) 101.5 (P) 101.9 (P) 101.9 (P) 101.9

Percent change from previous month

(P) -0.8% (P) 0.4% (P) 0.0% (P) 0.0%

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Producer Price Indexes)

Workplace Trends

This section presents data on the number of establishments in telecommunications.

Establishments

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data
1st quarter
2013
2nd quarter
2013
3rd quarter
2013
4th quarter
2013

Number of establishments

Private industry

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(P) 40,416 (P) 40,302 (P) 40,118 (P) 39,840

Local government

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(P) 67 (P) 66 (P) 64 (P) 61

State government

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(P) 7 (P) 7 (P) 7 (P) 7

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

Other BLS Resources

Career Guide to Industries

See telecommunications in the Career Guide to Industries.

Data extracted on: July 22, 2014

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