Telecommunications: NAICS 517

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:

  • Wired Telecommunications Carriers: NAICS 5171
  • Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite): NAICS 5172
  • Telecommunications Resellers: NAICS 5173
  • Satellite Telecommunications: NAICS 5174
  • Cable and Other Program Distribution: NAICS 5175
  • Other Telecommunications: NAICS 5179

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
May
2016
Jun.
2016
Jul.
2016
Aug.
2016

Employment (in thousands)

 

Employment, all employees (seasonally adjusted)

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769.6 797.9 (P) 797.0 (P) 794.4

Employment, production and nonsupervisory employees

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647.6 672.4 (P) 670.7  

Unemployment

 

Unemployment rate

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4.0% 2.7% 3.1% 3.5%

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics, Current Population Survey

Union Membership and Representation

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data
2012 2013 2014 2015

Union membership and representation

 

Members of unions (percent of wage and salary workers)

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15.6% 14.4% 14.8% 13.3%

Represented by unions (percent of wage and salary workers)

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16.8% 15.4% 16.5% 14.8%

(Source: Current Population Survey)

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2015

Customer service representatives

92,000

Electronics engineers, except computer

24,860

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

12,490

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers

151,660

Telecommunications line installers and repairers

54,590

Telephone operators

2,120

(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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Apr.
2016
May
2016
Jun.
2016
Jul.
2016

Average hourly earnings

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$31.90 $32.56 $32.01 (P) $31.75

Average weekly hours

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37.9 37.8 38.0 (P) 38.4

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings and Hours of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees

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Apr.
2016
May
2016
Jun.
2016
Jul.
2016

Average hourly earnings

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$27.96 $27.83 $28.14 (P) $28.44

Average weekly hours

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39.6 40.0 39.8 (P) 40.3

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Union Membership and Representation

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Median weekly earnings
2012 2013 2014 2015

Union membership and representation

 

Full-time workers

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$1,064 $1,129 $1,145 $1,162

Members of unions

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$1,162 $1,162 $1,143 $1,212

Represented by unions

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$1,163 $1,155 $1,114 $1,208

Nonunion

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$1,039 $1,123 $1,151 $1,148

(Source: Current Population Survey)

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2015
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

Customer service representatives

16.83 19.14 35,000 39,800

Electronics engineers, except computer

43.52 44.70 90,520 92,970

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

29.84 32.11 62,080 66,780

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers

27.85 27.15 57,920 56,480

Telecommunications line installers and repairers

31.63 29.33 65,790 61,010

Telephone operators

23.14 21.43 48,120 44,580

(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 2011 2012 2013 2014

Fatalities

 

Number of fatalities

21 11 19 12

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

Data series 2014

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

 

Total recordable cases

2.2

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

1.6

Cases involving days away from work

1.3

Cases involving days of job transfer or restriction

0.3

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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May
2016
Jun.
2016
Jul.
2016
Aug.
2016

Producer price index

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(P) 98.9 (P) 99.4 (P) 99.3 (P) 98.9

Percent change from previous month

  (P) -0.5% (P) 0.5% (P) -0.1% (P) -0.4%

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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2nd quarter
2015
3rd quarter
2015
4th quarter
2015
1st quarter
2016

Number of establishments

 

Private industry

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35,617 35,832 36,080 (P) 35,500

Local government

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60 60 60 (P) 59

State government

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9 8 8 (P) 8

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: September 28, 2016